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Fire Alert

Trump reverses course, grants California’s wildfire disaster declaration request

Utility Fatal Calif. Wildfire
AP Photo/Ethan Swope, File
A house burns Sept. 27 on Platina Road at the Zogg Fire near Ono, Calif.  

By Caroline Kelly

    (CNN) -- President Donald Trump approved California's request for a presidential disaster declaration to help combat the state's record-setting wildfires, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, a day after the administration initially rejected the request.

"Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response," Newsom said in a statement Friday.

The back and forth comes after the White House said Thursday that California's request for a presidential major disaster declaration was rejected because it was "not supported by the relevant data." Thirty-one people have died as a result of the wildfires and more than 9,200 structures have been destroyed.

"The governor and (House Minority Leader Kevin) McCarthy spoke and presented a convincing case and additional on-the-ground perspective for reconsideration leading the President to approve the declaration," said White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

Newsom, a Democrat, requested financial aid from the federal government in a September 28 letter to the Trump administration outlining the effect 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.

Trump approved California's prior request for a disaster declaration for the coronavirus pandemic in March, according to a White House news release.

That declaration meant the state could receive federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts to areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the release said. It also provided federal funding for crisis counseling for all those affected in California.

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.

Recent fires included in the disaster declaration request were the Creek Fire, the largest wildfire in the state's history, which has scorched 341,722 acres across Fresno and Madera counties; the Bobcat Fire, which has burned 115,796 acres in Los Angeles County; and the El Dorado Fire, which was sparked by a gender reveal party in San Bernardino County over Labor Day weekend.

This story has been updated to include a statement from the White House.

California / News




  1. Another example where you can take all of Bunker Baby’s decisions, claims, and tweets on a subject and lay them end-to-end and still not reach a decision. I can hardly wait until tomorrow to hear what this inept administration has to say.

    1. It has become rather entertaining watching big fat lyin donnie flip flop and flail on a daily basis!!! – Trump/Putin 2020!!! – MORE LYING – DYING and DENYING !!!

      1. Herr Fuhrer ! All this cut and paste has become somewhat outdated- as your “Lying-Dying-Denying” accusations fail to address the fact that Hillary Clinton has been fingered as the mastermind behind your “Putin- Russia-Russia-Russia” hoax. Former DOJ kingpin Bruce Ohr has bailed ship and is about to be indicted for his part in the Steele Dossier fabrication against an incoming duly elected President- that treason ! And Hunter Biden’s dirty little laptop with all his porn- emails- and paper trails have miraculously shown up at the front door of the new Trump FBI !!! This can’t be good- or can it ? You got one thing right…. it is rather entertaining to watch this worm turn !

    2. Trump approved it quickly… did you read the article, or just not understand it?
      I love the “bunker baby” reference! These days, many people immediately think of Joe Biden, peeking out of his windows and drawing dozens of people to his drive-in rallies.
      Maybe Hunter is hiding with him these days?

      1. Did you not understand that the request was first rejected “because it was not supported by the relevant data” – Trumpspeak for “you didn’t vote for me so screw you!”

        I’m not sure what criteria you’re using to call Biden bunker baby. He didn’t hide anywhere. He was a responsible, sensible American citizen who followed the evolving flow of info and advice from experts. He didn’t have to curtail his campaign due to contracting and spreading illness due to his own negligence. Your Covid spreader in Chief is such a wonderful example of responsible leadership in a time of national crisis turning it into a tragedy, he should hide…in shame.

        1. “Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response,” Newsom said.
          Biden and Harris have been hiding for weeks. Google “Biden, press lid”. What a hero, what a hard working candidate!
          A true bunker baby, hiding from his own platform.

    3. Meanwhile, record subsidies paid by Trump this past week to farmers in South and West to offset Trump’s disastrous trade deal with China, just in time to buy more votes.

        1. Hmmm…. consumer confidence back up to “pre-pandemic” levels- as is consumer spending- the markets- all systems returning to normal after the China virus attack on the world…. ‘cept for one thing- China has now completely overhauled it’s export rules as the heavy thumb of the Trumpesauras forced them to act- seems Obama and Biden were too busy making their own families rich to really care about sweat shops- child labor- internment camps in China… looks like the President’s promises to rein in the communist party has worked… but maybe you don’t know that -and a lot of other stuff- because of the nationwide news blackout on key stories like these…. in short- yer a victim of your own disgust- a controlled media !

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