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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.

Confirmed Cases: 879645

Reported Deaths: 16982
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2893666877
Riverside640751272
San Bernardino597791021
Orange570711410
San Diego52735853
Kern33448410
Fresno30051429
Sacramento24425468
Santa Clara23355378
Alameda22738433
San Joaquin21187484
Contra Costa18157234
Stanislaus17341392
Tulare17120275
Ventura13901160
Imperial12475335
San Francisco11901133
Monterey1109183
San Mateo10810157
Santa Barbara9608119
Merced9314152
Sonoma8934129
Kings815983
Solano711774
Marin7019124
Madera488673
San Luis Obispo400932
Placer397852
Yolo307356
Butte301950
Santa Cruz270623
Napa188214
Sutter179612
Shasta172329
San Benito140314
El Dorado12834
Yuba125310
Mendocino110321
Tehama7748
Lassen7571
Lake67015
Glenn6393
Nevada5828
Humboldt5549
Colusa5456
Calaveras33317
Amador31316
Tuolumne2494
Inyo21515
Siskiyou1840
Mono1752
Del Norte1731
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity230
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Paradise
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Red Bluff
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 86°
Willows
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Tuesday was another sunny and unseasonably warm to hot day for much of northern California. It was much like Monday, except the wind was stronger, and the wind will be much stronger through much of the next week.
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