This year’s forest fire season has been particularly devastating in the state, with more than 8,500 registered fires. They have ravaged an area of 16,000 square kilometers and 31 people have lost their lives. 9,200 buildings have burned down.
The state’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsom sent a formal letter requesting a formal declaration of crisis to the White House on September 28, Brian Ferguson of the state’s crisis authority said.
The request was initially rejected, but Trump was persuaded on Friday to turn around after persuasive talks with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Kevin McCarthy, who lead Republicans in the House of Representatives, White House Press Secretary Judd Deere told CNN.
Such a declaration allows for sharing the costs of cleanup and reconstruction with federal authorities.