Assistance Center for Those Affected by Creek, Rye and Skirball Fires to Be Opened by L.A. City and County Officials

A center expected to offer counseling, help with insurance claims and animal services among other assistance to those affected by the Creek, Rye and Skirball fires will open Tuesday as part of a joint effort between Los Angeles city and county officials.

The center will be open from Tuesday until Friday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m daily, and again on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. It will be hosted at the Lake View Terrace Recreation Center, located at 11075 Foothill Boulevard.

Residents watch as the Creek Fire burns along a hillside near homes in the Shadow Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Dec. 5, 2017. (Credit: Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents watch as the Creek Fire burns along a hillside near homes in the Shadow Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Dec. 5, 2017. (Credit: Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images)

As wildfires roared across Southern California in recent days, the Creek Fire that started near Sylmar scorched over 15,000 acres while the Rye and Skirball fires forced the evacuation of thousands and threatened thousands of structures in L.A. County and a few smaller portions of Ventura County, where the Thomas Fire that burned over 230,000 acres first started.

The center is described by local officials as a “one-stop shop” where those affected by the wildfires can get information and services — for everything from tax relief to building permits — from nonprofits, government agencies and utility companies, according to a news release.

Assistance will be offered in the following areas (in alphabetical order):

●      Animal Services

●      Building Permitting Agencies

●      Crisis Counseling/Mental Health

●      County Assessor and Tax Collector

●      Consumer and Business Affairs

●      Fire, Forestry and Public Safety

●      Health & Human Services

●      Housing Assistance

●      Insurance

●      Public Health

●      Public Works and Sanitation Agencies

●      Tax Relief

●      Veterans’ Affairs

Translation services and free parking are expected to be available at the center, which will be ADA-compliant, officials said.

Those needing information about fire relief assistance can also call 2-1-1 to reach county officials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That hotline will be open to tenants, homeowners and business owners who need to report damages.

Depending on what reports are received, L.A. County officials can pursue loans intended for disaster relief.

“This will allow the County to determine if we have enough damage to seek a Federal Small Business Administration Declaration, which will offer low interest loans for eligible residents,” Jeff Reeb, director of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, said in a news release.