SACRAMENTO, California. – President Donald Trump’s administration suddenly retaliated and approved California’s application for a disaster relief fund, which has recently cleared the damage from six deadly and devastating spots in the state.
“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 brief statement.
Neither he nor the White House gave details of why the administration shifted positions in less than two days because they initially rejected the state’s request for a declaration that officials said States can provide with hundreds of millions of dollars.
In the same week the vicissitudes came as Pacific Gas and Electric Utilities cut service for more than 40,000 Northern California customers cut to prevent wildfires amid powerful wind damaging equipment and a falling heat wave gave. PG&E said power was restored to most customers by Friday evening.
PG&E said preliminary inspections found 30 instances of weather-related damage, including the lower number of winds.
The utility became better targeted this time after being criticized in 2019 for cutting power to about 800,000 customers and leaving about 2 million people in the dark in days.
White House spokesman Jude Deere previously stated that California’s disaster declaration request was “not supported by relevant data required for approval”. He initially stated that Trump agreed with Pete Gennore, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who stated in a three-para rejection letter that the damage was “not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the state’s capabilities.”
Dere said in a statement after Trump’s change of heart, “Governor and (GOP) leader (Kevin) McCarthy presented the president with a convincing case for reconsideration and additional on-the-ground perspective.
McCarthy thanked him in a tweet for providing “necessary support for rebuilding and repair”.
Fellow Republican US Rep. Tom McClintock said in a tweet that McCarthy told him that “the president has committed to overturn FEMA’s decision … and help is on the way.” Both congressmen represent areas harmed by wildlife.
The state had planned to appeal the denial and believed it was a strong case, Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said before the counterattack.
Newsom asked for a major disaster declaration on September 28 to cover fires in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties.
The 30-page request described the disasters and stated that the damage assessment was incomplete because the fire was still raging and difficult to access.
Federal major disaster declarations allow for cost-sharing between state and federal governments for damage, cleanup, and reconstruction. They also activate relief programs led by FEMA.
Controversy erupted as a representative of the area affected by the fire said that time was running out to clear the debris before rain and snow arrived, creating a risk of mousalides and toxins being washed into the river waters.
News of a relief is rare and Newsome, a Democrat, has previously praised the Republican administration for approving aid related to the fire and the coronovirus epidemic. The White House said Trump approved relief from wildfires supported by estimates of damage.
Among the fires listed in the now approved aid application is the Creek Fire, which exploded on September 4 in the Sierra Nevada and contained 60% after 850 homes and more than 537 square miles (1,391 square kilometers) of burn in Fritano and Madera. The counties.
Republican State Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno said the state needed to move quickly to avoid further problems in areas that were devastated by the fire.
“We are going to see rain soon, snow very soon,” he told in an online briefing. “If we don’t go to those areas then we’re going to quickly miss this window and we’re finally going to see the mouselids where this poisonous debris goes into the San Joaquin River’s watershed.”
No major new fires broke out in the state in the early hours of Friday, but due to dangerously hot, dry and rusty conditions, the possibility of fire remained in the evening. About 9,000 firefighters live on the lines of 21 fires.
Near San Francisco’s International Airport, the crew were battling a blurry grass fire on a highly visible hill, welcoming people to “South San Francisco” with an iconic sign. The city of about 70,000 people said on social media that officers were at the scene and would follow evacuation instructions if necessary.
Numerous studies have linked large wild animals associated with climate change to the burning of coal, oil and gas in the US. Scientists have said that climate change has made California much more drought, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable.
It has been a devastating wildfire season in California, burning more than 6,400 square miles (16,000 square kilometers) from more than 8,500 blasts since the beginning of the year. Thirty people have died and some 9,200 buildings have been destroyed.
Most of this year’s fire has been on since mid-August, when an unusual siege of thousands of lightning strikes ignited heavy snowfall.
The investigation into the cause of the two fires in September is ongoing. PG&E equipment is being investigated in connection with the Jog Fire in Northern California, and the Southern California Edison Equipment is being investigated at the Bobcat Fire near Los Angeles.
Antasac reported from Los Angeles. AP reporters Jenny Hara from San Francisco and Kevin Freaking of Washington DC contributed