U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and Congressman Doug LaMalfa sent a letter to President Biden asking for a major presidential disaster declaration for the fires in Northern California.
Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom submitted the required request to the President for aid. Under the Stafford Act only a Governor can request federal aid for a state.
“We are deploying every available tool we have to keep communities safe as California battles these catastrophic wildfires driven by climate change impacts,” said Governor Newsom. “Even while the fires continue to burn, we are working to put assistance programs in place for impacted individuals to support their recovery from these devastating fires.”
This federal request is specific to the Dixie, Antelope, McFarland, Monument and River fires. A subsequent request may be made for the Caldor and other fires once fire conditions allow state, local and federal officials to safely assess the scope of damage.
If approved, a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration will help people in the impacted counties through eligibility for programs and support that can include housing assistance, food aid, counseling, medical services and legal services. The request includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs. The request also includes hazard mitigation, which helps state and local governments reduce the risks and impacts of future disasters.
In addition, the state provided Plumas County $5 million in California Disaster Assistance Act Public Assistance advance funding. This advance funding provides financial assistance from the state for costs incurred by local governments because of a disaster. Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns previously announced the $5 million allocation.