Newsom signs state of emergency to support California communities recovering from wildfires
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a state of emergency to protect millions of people from the threats posed by the state’s catastrophic wildfires, a step he said would help the state “rebuild” after the wildfires struck earlier this month.
The declaration of a statewide emergency will allow communities around the state to more quickly issue emergency declarations, and the state will provide funds to assist local governments in some areas if need be.
“Our goal is to provide California with the resources needed to rebuild and repair the lives and livelihoods of our citizens,” Newsom said in a press release on Thursday afternoon. “This is an unprecedented declaration.”
The action will aid communities recovering from the devastation caused by the Camp Fire in Butte County, which killed two people and left another four people missing. It also spurred a massive evacuations in the Northern California town of structures being evacuated ahead of the deadly wildfire.
Newsom did not detail what the additional funding would be used for, but the state is likely going to be using at least some of it to increase firefighting resources in Butte County. Newsom’s emergency declaration may not cover the cost of additional resources that are needed for other areas, such as the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
As of Thursday, at least 1,200 people have been confirmed dead in the state’s devastating wildfires.
The Camp Fire, which started on December 8, quickly grew to nearly 7,500 acres by Thursday afternoon. It was the eighth deadliest fire in California history, with at least 44 deaths.
Newsom said the state is focused on rebuilding and reopening communities affected by the fires, and on ensuring residents have the resources they need to recover.
“We’re focused on protecting our communities and helping our people recover,” Newsom said. “It’s never been more important to focus on the people who are hurting. We are the communities