Trump administration rejects California’s disaster assistance request for wildfires #Breaking112
“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, confirmed to CNN. The state plans to appeal the decision.
The denial comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom requested financial aid from the federal government in a September 28 letter to the Trump administration outlining the financial impact of the wildfires.
Writing that infrastructure damage estimates exceeded $229 million, Newsom asserted that “federal assistance is critical to support physical and economic recovery of California and its communities.”
“The longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating, and irreversible the economic impacts will be,” he said.
The three other wildfires in the request were the Valley Fire in San Diego County, the Oak Fire in Mendocino County and the Slater Fire in Siskiyou County.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Since the beginning of this fire season, more than 8,500 wildfires have burned well over 4.1 million acres across the state, Cal Fire said in a press release on Thursday. Thirty-one people died as a result of the wildfires and more than 9,200 structures have been destroyed.
The Trump administration’s decision falls in line with the President’s combative history with the reliably Democratic state.
When Wade Crowfoot, the secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency warned of the dangers of ignoring science and putting “our head in the sand and thinking that it’s all about vegetation management,” Trump responded by telling Crowfoot: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”
“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot told him.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.