President Trump changes course, approves California relief for fires, including Slater Fire in Siskiyou Co.

Though the Trump administration initially refused a request for FEMA disaster assistance for those impacted by six California fires, the decision was reversed Friday afternoon.

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 1:37 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2020 4:15 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday afternoon that the President has approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to wildfires across the state and support impacted residents in Siskiyou, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.

“Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response,” said Governor Newsom.

North State District 1 Congressmember Doug LaMalfa (R) will be commenting on how this change of course happened during our Action News Now newscast Friday evening. He will be interviewed by Assistant News Director Scott Rates about the new developments.

Here is a statement from Congressmember LaMalfa: “The President has listened to the North State’s calls for additional disaster assistance for Siskiyou County, reversing FEMA’s denial of the original request for aid. Working with our contacts at the White House and with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, we were all able to impress on the President and his team to take another look at the FEMA denial. We expect an announcement by the President overriding that decision will be forthcoming. A Major Disaster Declaration will help address the high cost of recovery. I have been engaged with the Trump Administration on this issue for several weeks, and I thank the President for responding to the State of California’s request for aid. Keep in your prayers the families who lost their loved ones, those who lost their homes in Happy Camp, and our first responders who are working to extinguish fires in California. My office will continue to assist with the federal and state response to wildfires across the North State.”

A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for support including crisis counseling; housing and unemployment assistance; and legal services. It also provides federal assistance to help state, tribal, and local governments fund emergency response, recovery, and protective measures.

California previously secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to the Northern California wildfires as well as Fire Management Assistance Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the state’s ongoing response to fires burning across the state. Governor Newsom has declared a statewide emergency due to the widespread fires and extreme weather conditions and signed an executive order to streamline recovery efforts in communities impacted by the devastating fires. The Governor last month signed a package of bills to improve the state’s emergency preparedness and response efforts, support wildfire survivors, and safeguard communities in high fire hazard areas.

With another dangerous wildfire season underway amid the ongoing pandemic, the state is hiring 858 more firefighters and six California Conservation Corps crews to bolster firefighting support. California has taken major action and made critical investments to fortify wildfire preparedness and response capabilities since the Governor took office. CAL FIRE completed the last of its 35 emergency fuels management projects in May, making 90,000 acres safer ahead of wildfire season and protecting 200 vulnerable communities.

Major investments include augmenting the CAL FIRE air fleet with new FIREHAWK S-70i helicopters and C-130 airplanes, and bolstering firefighting surge capacity and pre-positioning capabilities. The state also launched an Innovation Procurement Sprint to develop early warning technologies and place fire detection cameras across the state. This year’s budget included $85.6 million in new, ongoing dollars to fund permanent firefighting positions, and continues the funding for CAL FIRE to procure innovative technology that allows us to model fire behavior.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3055568

Reported Deaths: 34441
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103280614122
San Bernardino2561091560
Riverside2504362645
San Diego2168352109
Orange2148082477
Santa Clara943661109
Kern86718565
Fresno82485968
Sacramento806781111
Alameda67952765
Ventura62101436
San Joaquin58290786
Contra Costa52965450
Stanislaus42882758
Tulare41867506
Monterey36126255
San Mateo32596309
San Francisco29321262
Solano25806106
Imperial25317465
Santa Barbara25083236
Merced24452308
Sonoma24068240
Kings19435145
Placer17380180
San Luis Obispo15929136
Madera13443151
Santa Cruz12298113
Marin11693157
Yolo10620131
Shasta9776122
Butte9474123
El Dorado782644
Sutter775478
Napa760140
Lassen519516
San Benito496343
Yuba495127
Tehama397142
Tuolumne338240
Nevada320673
Mendocino311432
Amador301631
Lake261230
Humboldt239324
Glenn193519
Colusa17339
Calaveras161723
Siskiyou144613
Mono11214
Inyo97429
Del Norte8662
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
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Hi: 67° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 64°
Oroville
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Chico
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64° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 64°
Red Bluff
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67° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 67°
Red Bluff
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 64° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 67°
Chico
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 64°
Lighter winds and mostly mild conditions are on the way for your Wednesday. We'll see cloudy skies and cooler temperatures on Thursday, and then a bigger drop in temperatures and showers on Friday. More wet weather looks likely from Sunday afternoon through early next week.
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