Gov. Brown requests presidential major disaster declaration for state’s wildfires

Gov. Jerry Brown has requested a major disaster declaration from the president to help California residents affected by November’s wildfires get access to extra resources, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

As of Sunday morning, the Camp Fire had killed 23 people and burned through roughly 109,000 acres – about 164 square miles – in Butte County, according to Cal Fire. The Woolsey and Hill fires in Ventura County and parts of Los Angeles County had burned through more than 87,000 acres and killed two people.

If granted, the major disaster declaration would trigger new fiscal and physical resources from federal agencies.

“We have the best firefighters and first responders in the country working in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. We’re putting everything we’ve got into the fight against these fires and this request ensures communities on the front lines get additional federal aid,” Brown said in the release. “To those who have lost friends and family members, homes and businesses, know that the entire state is with you. As Californians, we are strong and resilient, and together we will recover.”

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom requested aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Thursday after declaring Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties in a state of emergency. His request was granted Friday, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The new request for assistance would bring air assets to mitigate the impacts of the fires, shelter supplies and water for evacuated residents, the release said. It also provides support for mass care, ambulatory transport and the evacuation of individuals with access and functional needs.