SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster ongoing state and local recovery efforts in response to the Southern California wildfires.
Fed by warm temperatures, low humidity and fierce Santa Ana winds, multiple fires erupted across Southern California earlier this month forcing more than 200,000 Californians to evacuate and seek temporary shelter.
Over 8,700 firefighters were deployed to fight these fires, including California National Guard air and ground forces. Twelve states — Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming — have deployed resources to help battle the fires.
To date, the Thomas Fire in Ventura County has burned more than 270,000 acres, destroyed over 1,000 structures and resulted in two fatalities. The fire continues to burn erratically and is only 60 percent contained.
Previously, Governor Brown secured a Presidential Declaration providing direct federal assistance for Southern California wildfires and surveyed the wildfire damage and met with impacted residents. The Governor has also issued emergency proclamations for Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating with local, state and federal emergency response officials to address all emergency management needs.
Governor Brown’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration can be found here.