Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a group of California policymakers today called on the Trump administration to prioritize $7.4 billion in disaster funding to help the state recover from catastrophic wildfires. Over the past month, California has experienced the most destructive wildfires in state history, burning 245,000 acres, killing 43 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Joining Senator Feinstein were Governor Jerry Brown (D-Calif.), Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and 38 members of the California congressional delegation.

“California is the most populous U.S. state and the sixth largest economy in the world, with nearly 40 million residents, 109 federally-recognized tribal nations, 58 counties and a gross state product of approximately $2.5 trillion,” the leaders wrote.  “The fires directly impacted eight counties and three Tribal Nations. The full economic impact to the agricultural, tourism, hospitality, and wine industries is still not known. Nine California wineries were destroyed and 21 were damaged in the Nation’s most prominent winemaking region.”

The leaders continued: “State and local governments in California are still in the early stages of recovery from this disaster and are still assessing damages and impacts. However, the Governor’s Office has worked with the affected counties and communities to determine that $7.4 billion in federal funding is needed as of October 28, 2017 to help California recover.”

The full text of the letter follows:

November 3, 2017

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

As you develop your Administration’s request to Congress for additional disaster funding, we ask that you include $7.4 billion to help California recover from last month’s devastating wildfires that killed 43 people and destroyed approximately 8,800 residential and commercial structures.

On October 8, 2017, firefighters began battling multiple wildfires throughout California, prompting one of the deadliest and most destructive fire events in California history. California Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency and requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration on Monday, October 9, 2017. In less than 24 hours, you declared a Major Disaster Declaration (FEMA DR-4344) that was announced by Vice President Mike Pence at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ State Operations Center.

Mutual aid resources continued to pour into California to assist firefighting crews, which consisted of 11,000 firefighters and nearly 500 law enforcement personnel. Suppression efforts included more than 1,000 fire engines, over 30 air tankers and 73 helicopters, and 177 fire engines from Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. Nearly 245,000 acres (over 350 square miles) were burned, causing 43 fatalities, destroying approximately 8,800 commercial and residential structures, and requiring the evacuation of 100,000 people.

California is the most populous U.S. state and the sixth largest economy in the world, with nearly 40 million residents, 109 federally-recognized tribal nations, 58 counties and a gross state product of approximately $2.5 trillion.  The fires directly impacted eight counties and three Tribal Nations. The full economic impact to the agricultural, tourism, hospitality, and wine industries is still not known. Nine California wineries were destroyed and 21 were damaged in the Nation’s most prominent winemaking region.

State and local governments in California are still in the early stages of recovery from this disaster and are still assessing damages and impacts. However, the Governor’s Office has worked with the affected counties and communities to determine that $7.4 billion in federal funding is needed as of October 28, 2017 to help California recover.

Thank you for your consideration of our request. As we work on the immediate need for a third disaster supplemental responding to the wildfires in California, we look forward to working with you to ensure that all Americans who have been severely impacted by recent natural disasters across the United States receive the federal support they need and deserve.

Sincerely,

 

Jerry Brown

Governor of California

 

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

 

Kamala D. Harris

United States Senator

 

Nancy Pelosi

Democratic Leader

 

Mike Thompson

U.S. Representative

 

Jared Huffman

U.S. Representative

 

John Garamendi

U.S. Representative

 

Ed Royce

U.S. Representative

 

Ami Bera

U.S. Representative

 

Julia Brownley

U.S. Representative

 

Salud O. Carbajal

U.S. Representative

 

Judy Chu

U.S. Representative

 

Jim Costa

U.S. Representative

 

Anna G. Eshoo

U.S. Representative

 

Mark DeSaulnier

U.S. Representative

 

Ro Khanna

U.S. Representative

 

Barbara Lee

U.S. Representative

 

Ted W. Lieu

U.S. Representative

 

Zoe Lofgren

U.S. Representative

 

Doris Matsui

U.S. Representative

 

Jerry McNerney

U.S. Representative

 

Grace F. Napolitano

U.S. Representative

 

Jimmy Panetta

U.S. Representative

 

Lucille Roybal-Allard

U.S. Representative

 

Adam Schiff

U.S. Representative

 

Jackie Speier

U.S. Representative

 

Eric Swalwell

U.S. Representative

 

Norma J. Torres

U.S. Representative

 

Brad Sherman

U.S. Representative

 

Mark Takano

U.S. Representative

 

Nanette Diaz Barragan

U.S. Representative

 

Alan Lowenthal

U.S. Representative

 

J. Luis Correa

U.S. Representative

 

Pete Aguilar

U.S. Representative

 

Juan Vargas

U.S. Representative

 

Susan Davis

U.S. Representative

 

Tony Cardenas

U.S. Representative

 

Linda T. Sanchez

U.S. Representative

 

Karen Bass

U.S. Representative

 

Jimmy Gomez

U.S. Representative

 

Scott Peters

U.S. Representative

 

Raul Ruiz

U.S. Representative

 

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