August 22, 2020

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Calls for Expedited Major Disaster Declaration for CA Fires

OAKLAND, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) called on Donald Trump to expedite federal assistance requested by the State of California to combat the devastating wildfires that have swept across Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties over the last week. Congresswoman Lee released the following statement:

“Across California, extreme heat and lightning strikes contributed to some of the worst wildfires we have ever seen. As of today, almost 1 million acres have burned, including parts of our oldest state park. Damage to public and private property has been significant with thousands of homes destroyed. More than 100,000 have had to evacuate. People have died.

“Governor Newsom has estimated that it will cost more than $576 million just to clear debris from homes damaged or destroyed by the current fires, and the damage continues to grow.

“Firefighters from multiple agencies are doing the best they can to protect lives, property and wilderness. However, our resources are exhausted, and immediate federal assistance is critical to reinforce our first responders and save lives.

“I am joining Governor Newsom and my colleagues in Congress to call on FEMA and the White House to expedite a Major Disaster Declaration and render immediate federal aid to California. It is crucial that California can count on the federal government’s assistance in addressing this natural disaster.

“In recent years, California has experienced an explosion of wildfire activity, in large part due to climate change. This has resulted in an extraordinary challenge for our state’s firefighting resources and capabilities. In addition to fighting back a public health crisis, our state is in dire need of relief. To address the immediate threat posed by the current fires, we need a Major Disaster Declaration expedited with all possible haste.”