Trump administration rejects California request for wildfire disaster assistance

Source: The Hill | October 16, 2020 | Morgan Gstalter

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office said the Trump administration rejected the state’s request for a disaster declaration following six wildfires that tore through the state earlier this year, including the largest single blaze in the state’s history.

“The request for a Major Presidential Disaster Declaration for early September fires has been denied by the federal administration,” Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, told CNN.

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State officials are planning to appeal the decision.

Newsom penned a letter to President Trump on Sept. 28 requesting the disaster declaration following a string of wildfires. 

The governor noted that the state’s economy had been “significantly damaged” by the COVID-19 pandemic, the major wildfires and poor air quality. He wrote that infrastructure damage estimates exceeded $229 million.

“Federal assistance is critical to support physical and economic recovery of California and its communities,” Newsom wrote. “The longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating and irreversible the economic impacts will be.”

The governor wrote that the pandemic-related restrictions and social distancing had interfered with typical evacuation procedures, requiring the state to use hotel rooms instead of congregate shelters.

“Californians are exhausted,” Newsom wrote.

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  • Discussion
  •  EVERYDAY #43767

    Well, I suspect Trump just lost most of the California vote.

    However one feels about the Democrat administration in California and its heavy-handed regulations (some of which may have contributed to these fires), the fact is the fires happen every year. Some years are worse than others and this one has been particularly bad. It’s not climate change. My late aunt lived in Santa Ana for many years since WWII. Even back then in her letters to my dad, she wrote about the fires. Seems no one has come up with a good way of preventing them

    California cannot deal with the damage alone. It needs federal assistance. Depriving California of that assistance just because you don’t like the governor is a trait of autocrats. Our Founding Fathers had enough of authoritarian kings and they set up this country to prevent it from being ruled by autocrat. Time for the voters to rid this country of the dictator wannabe presently in the White House.

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