Lilac fire firefighter
A firefighter at the scene of the Lilac Fire. Photo: OnSceneTV

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.

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.

— City News Service