Trump to California Wildfire Victims: Drop Dead

Trump administration rejects California's request for wildfire disaster assistance, reports say

A FEMA spokesperson also told Fox News earlier in the day Friday that the request had been denied because "damage assessments FEMA conducted" determined that the federal government's assistance wasn't necessary.

The dispute surfaced as a representative of one fire-stricken area warned that time was running out to clean up debris before rain and snow arrived, bringing the threat of mudslides and toxins being washed into a river watershed.

The White House's decision to reject California's request was met with outrage by environmentalists and lawmakers who represent the state.

Trump had issued a major disaster declaration for some parts of the state in August, a move that provides federal assistance for individuals, infrastructure and both emergency and permanent work. It also allows the federal government to give assistance to state, local and tribal governments to fund the emergency response.

Republican state Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno said he has been in consultation with area congressional offices since the denial of the aid request.

More than 4.1 million acres (1.7 million hectares) have burned over the course of the year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), shattering a record set in 2018.

Newsom had asked for the major disaster declaration on September 28 to cover fires in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties.

Earlier on Friday, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said blazes that ignited in September were not severe enough to be declared a "major disaster". The city of almost 70,000 people said on social media that authorities were on the scene and evacuation instructions would follow if needed.

Trump administration rejects California's request for wildfire disaster assistance, reports say

Original estimates had called for as many as 53,000 customers in 24 counties to be affected, mostly affecting areas in and around San Francisco Bay and the northern Sierra Nevada foothills.

Numerous studies have linked bigger wildfires in the United States to climate breakdown from the burning of coal, oil and gas. They aim to prevent equipment such as power lines from sparking wildfires if they are fouled or blown down by the winds.

State authorities investigated this week whether PG&E equipment might have caused the deadly Zogg Fire, which killed four people and destroyed more than 200 structures in Shasta County, north of San Francisco.

Experts say droughts and climate change from fossil fuels have made poorly managed forests much more flammable, leading to extreme fire activity.

The rejection-then-approval by the Trump administration comes as fire danger remains high in California.

The president, during a visit to the state last month, was pressed by California's Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot about the role of climate change in the fires, the most intense in the state's history.

People have been buying generators, electrical cords, flashlights, batteries, gas cans and other supplies to help them deal with the latest outage, expected to last through Friday evening, Collins said. That fire is only 77% percent contained.

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