According to local American media reports, the White House rejected the emergency disaster assistance request for six wildfires made by California last month on Thursday (October 15). According to Ferguson, a spokesperson for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, “The federal government has rejected the president’s request to designate the fire in early September as a major disaster.” California government officials are planning to appeal this decision.
White House spokesman Judd Dier said that President Trump has approved the state government’s assistance, at that time authorized additional funds to clear the debris from the fire and ease the August fire. Regarding the September request for assistance, Deere said: “The other recent submission by the State of California does not meet the relevant data support that states must provide for approval and the conditions for joint approval by the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
On September 28, local time, California Governor Newsom sent a letter to Trump, asking him to declare it a major disaster after a series of wildfires, so that federal assistance can be obtained. The governor pointed out that the new crown pandemic, severe wildfires and poor air quality have “seriously damaged” the state’s economy. He wrote that infrastructure losses are estimated to exceed 229 million yuan.
According to a spokesperson for the California Fire Department earlier this month, more than 4 million acres of land have been destroyed by fires in California this year, which is more than twice the highest recorded area of fire in a single season. As of Thursday, there were 21 active fires across California. Since the beginning of this year, 31 people have died and more than 9,200 buildings have been destroyed.