Trump approves California's request for wildfire relief funds


U.S. President Donald Trump has approved California's request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state's emergency response to wildfires, California governor Gavin Newsom said Friday.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom formally submitted a letter to the White House on September 28 asking for a major disaster declaration, said Brian Ferguson, with the governor's Office of Emergency Services. "Grateful for his quick response". Fires included in the request were the Creek fire near Fresno - the largest single blaze in recent California history - the Bobcat fire in Los Angeles county and the El Dorado fire in San Bernardino county.

"Thus far, these fires have scorched more than 1,887,932 acres, destroyed 3,368 structures, including almost 1,000 homes, and damaged an additional 232 structures", Newsom wrote in the letter. "The longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating, and irreversible the economic impacts will be".

In its recent application, the state estimated that the damages from only the six fires at issue would cost more than $346 million, including infrastructure repairs exceeding $229 million.

California previously secured a disaster declaration from the White House in August to support relief efforts for wildfires in the northern part of the state. The White Home stated Trump shortly authorized wildfire aid that was supported by harm estimates.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which provides power to much of California, said Monday it was considering proactively shutting off power as soon as Wednesday to as many as 50,000 state residents to mitigate fire risk.

The rejection, which comes after FEMA granted other fire-related relief to California in August, raises questions about the administration's motive, given President Trump's frequent public sparring with California officials over the wildfires.

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In making his past threats to block aid, Trump has repeatedly claimed California's deadly wildfires "would never happen" with "proper Forest Management".

California has suffered this year from the most extreme fire season in the state's recorded history. Practically 9,000 firefighters stay on the traces of 21 fires.

Thousands of households across Northern California braced for power blackouts on Wednesday as dry weather threatened to touch off a new round of the wildfires that have ravaged the state.

People have been buying generators, electrical cords, flashlights, batteries, gas cans and other supplies to help them deal with the latest outage, expected to last through Friday evening, Collins said.

"Fuels are drying out, and they're just very susceptible to any fire ignition, just given these levels of dryness that we're seeing", Strenfel said on Thursday.

Among the many fires listed within the now-approved help utility is the Creek Fireplace, which erupted within the Sierra Nevada on September four and is 60% contained after burning 850 houses and greater than 537 sq. miles in Fresno and Madera counties.