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Lilac Fire Cleanup Expected To Cost San Diego County $3.9M

Parts of the Rancho Monserate Country Club in Fallbrook were completely destr...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: Parts of the Rancho Monserate Country Club in Fallbrook were completely destroyed by the Lilac Fire, Dec. 11, 2017.

The county's estimated cost of cleanup and erosion control in areas affected by the Lilac Fire stands at $3.9 million, officials said Tuesday as the Board of Supervisors voted to extend a state of emergency in connection with last month's massive and destructive blaze.

San Diego County could recoup about half that cost from a federal grant. Officials are requesting additional state and federal reimbursement that would cover efforts beyond initial erosion control, road repair, debris removal and other cleanup.

By the county's count, 113 homes were destroyed and 55 were damaged in the Lilac Fire, which broke out in Pala Mesa on Dec. 7.

Driven by Santa Ana winds, the blaze that scorched 4,100 acres in North County over several days also destroyed two business structures and damaged another five. Ninety other buildings, such as sheds or barns, were destroyed and 18 were damaged, according to the county.

RELATED: What You Need To Know In The Event Of A Wildfire In San Diego County

In Bonsall, San Diego County opened an erosion control center where people affected by fires can learn how to safeguard their homes. Part of the assistance includes offering free sandbags and seeds to help grow back vegetation.

"We’re definitely concerned that any rain that falls on a burnt land surface," said San Diego County Flood Control District Manager Sara Agahi. "Burnt soil is just going to flow right off."

The county has overseen the removal of more than 14,500 pounds of hazardous waste from areas burned by the fire; repaired 1,300 feet of guardrail along Old Highway 395; replaced 15 road signs and posts that were damaged; and removed 15 trees that toppled in public areas.

The overall cost of the fire response has not yet been calculated.

The county's estimated cost of cleanup and erosion control in areas affected by the Lilac Fire stands at $3.9 million, officials said Tuesday as the Board of Supervisors voted to extend a state of emergency in connection with last month's massive and destructive blaze.

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