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California wildfires

''My most poignant moments came when I met employees, tribal members, emergency medical, law enforcement personnel or individuals working on fire crews that were looking after the needs of others, while knowing that their own homes were endangered.''

- Vernon Wright, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians

The Rincon Band Council expressed gratitude to tribes and emergency agencies involved in operations during the Poomacha fire. The California wildfires, 13 separate fires in all, scorched more than half a million acres, destroying nearly 2,000 homes before being contained. At least 15 deaths have been attributed to the fires. Many tribes suffered extensive structural damage; the La Jolla, Santa Ysabel, Mesa Grande and Rincon reservations were cut off from water, food and communication while the Poomacha fire raged through or around their communities. Some still remain without electricity and power.

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