Secretary of Homeland Security visits fire-ravaged neighborhood in Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, was in Santa Rosa to tour neighborhoods devastated by the October wildfires. She visited Fire Station 5, which burned to the ground, and also the Fountaingrove and Coffey Park neighborhoods.

"It was very important for me to come out myself and see the damage and to learn from folks here what their needs are," said Nielsen.

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She says more help is on the way, including fire management assistance grants, which will help with debris removal and repair damaged infrastructure.

Nielsen called the effort one of the largest debris cleanup missions in California's history.

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"Fighting fires is expensive and very hard and often dangerous work, but these grants help offset the costs and provide funding for additional manpower," she said.

Fire victims Brittany and her husband Eric lost their Fountaingrove home. They want Nielsen to know the biggest need is housing. "This entire community is gone. And with the housing shortage, there's nowhere for those people to go," said Eric.

"We need faster response," said Brittany. "Some more immediate temporary housing. Moving forward quicker with permits to do rebuilds and changing things to make things easier."

Nielsen says people can apply for FEMA grants to rebuild their homes.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the North Bay fires.

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