Padilla, Feinstein Push for Major Disaster Declaration to Support Wildfire Response and Recovery in CA

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein (both D-Calif.), and Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) sent a letter to President Biden in support of Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for a major disaster declaration for California in response to a series of devastating wildfires, including the largest single-fire in California history, the Dixie Fire.

“These large fires come during a time of dangerous fire conditions, including extreme drought, dry fuels, low humidity, and high winds. The explosion of fire activity this season has resulted in an immense strain on California’s resources and firefighting capabilities,” the members wrote. 

While California is instituting all possible actions at its disposal to combat these fires, it is increasingly difficult for the State and local governments to obtain the necessary resources to respond to these fires,” the members continued. “The size and scope of these fires require additional assistance, coordination, and federal action.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to request you grant the State of California’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to the Dixie, Antelope, McFarland, Monument and River fires.

The Dixie fire, the largest of the fires included in this request, ignited on July 14th. Due to conditions on the ground, the Dixie Fire has rapidly expanded and has burned more than 725,821 acres, damaged or destroyed at least 1,350 structures, and is threatening an additional 12,653 structures. These fires continue to grow and threaten critical infrastructure in the counties of Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties. 

These large fires come during a time of dangerous fire conditions, including extreme drought, dry fuels, low humidity, and high winds. The explosion of fire activity this season has resulted in an immense strain on California’s resources and firefighting capabilities. While California is instituting all possible actions at its disposal to combat these fires, it is increasingly difficult for the State and local governments to obtain the necessary resources to respond to these fires. 

The size and scope of these fires require additional assistance, coordination, and federal action. Therefore, we urge you to grant Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to the Dixie, Antelope, McFarland, Monument and River fires.

Sincerely,

Alex Padilla   

United States Senator

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

Doug LaMalfa

Member of Congress

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