Pacific Western Bank will donate $1 million for its newly established relief fund to help recovery efforts following the wildfires that have ravaged the region, officials announced Wednesday.
The gift will infuse the bank's new Pacific Western Bank Fund at The San Diego Foundation and will be used for community improvement projects in the region for years to come.
The donation includes $100,000 that has been designated to aid families of firefighters and police officers.
Pacific Western is the largest independent bank headquartered in San Diego and is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Community Bancorp. It is the largest donation in the history of both banks.
As the banks saw employees, customers and their families suffer from the fires, officials wanted to help the community recover from the disaster. Bank representatives sought advice from former Gov. Pete Wilson on how to best help the region following the fires.
The fund will be administered by The San Diego Foundation and guided by a corporate committee.
Five major wildfires burned in San Diego County, destroying nearly 1,600 homes and more than 360,000 acres. Seven people were killed by the fire storm and seven others died from fire-related incidents.
-- By Maureen Magee