SHAVER LAKE, CA — UPDATE: California Governor Gavin Newsom talked to President Trump Friday afternoon about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announcing Thursday it would not approve his request for a major disaster declaration due to California wildfires.
After the call the governor tweeted: “Just got off phone with @realDonaldTrump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response.”
Just got off phone with @realDonaldTrump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request.
Grateful for his quick response. https://t.co/rF7VFqSENl
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 16, 2020
A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for support including crisis counseling, housing and unemployment assistance and legal services. It also provides federal assistance to help state, tribal and local governments fund emergency response, recovery and protective measures.
Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno said he had been in touch with local congressional offices.
The assemblyman later posted a message on Facebook about how critical the need is.
“Yesterday we learned that our request for FEMA funds to help people cleanup their property were denied,” said Patterson. “This is unacceptable to me, our county officials and our congressional delegation. We are all working to overturn the denial. This morning, I was informed that the state will begin early cleanup efforts now while we wait for the FEMA denial to go through the appeal. People can’t wait. The Creek Fire cleanup should have started weeks ago. Things are changing moment by moment. I will keep you updated.”
On Thursday, Assemblyman Jim Patterson made an urgent request to the director of Cal OES for the state begin immediate cleanup on properties destroyed in the Creek Fire since FEMA funds were denied.
Patterson says it will provide a much-needed head-start removing toxic debris ahead of seasonal snow and rain.
Congressman Tom McClintock (R – 4th District) tweeted out “Congressman McCarthy @GOPLeader has just informed me that the President has committed to reverse FEMA’s decision to deny the request for a federal disaster declaration for the recent fires. The Presidential Disaster Declaration is imminent and help is on the way.”
Rep. McClintock followed that tweet with a thank you to the president. “THANK YOU, Mr. President @realDonaldTrump and thank you citizens of Shaver Lake who shared your experiences with me yesterday. Our voices were heard and our prayers were answered.”