Amid government shutdown, FEMA will remain on the job in wildfire zones

California Gov. Brown, Interior Secretary Zinke, And FEMA Chief Long Tour Town Of Paradise Devastated By Recent Wildfire
FEMA Administrator Brock Long, second from left, joins Gov. Jerry Brown and others in November to tour a school burned by the Camp Fire in Paradise.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Victims of the wildfires that devastated parts of California last month will not have to add a government shutdown to their list of troubles, federal authorities said Friday.

Even though lawmakers failed Friday to find a way to avert a partial shutdown before a midnight deadline, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said its workers would stay on the job .

Since the Camp fire tore through the town of Paradise and other parts of Butte County and the Woosley fire burned through a large swath of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, hundreds of FEMA employees have been in the state to aid in the emergency response.

FEMA has partnered with state agencies to operate disaster relief centers, where victims can seek assistance navigating the difficult and often confusing process of rebuilding their homes and lives. Among other services, FEMA offers loans, assists people in finding shelter and getting their medical prescriptions filled.


The looming shutdown had led to concerns the FEMA workers would be sent home.

In a statement Friday, FEMA officials made clear that would not happen, since workers in the wildfire zones are paid from a fund that would not be affected by a shutdown.

“These disaster employees will be able to continue working their regular schedules,” the statement read.


For more news on federal courts in Southern California, follow me on Twitter: @joelrubin