California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced Saturday that the White House had approved the state's request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Shasta County, where the historic Carr Fire continues to burn. According to Governor Brown's office, the request was submitted to the President and approved in the same day.
"This is part of a trend – a new normal – that we've got to deal with. We're dealing with it humanly, financially and governmentally," Governor Brown said on Saturday during a media briefing related to the Carr Fire.
"A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for programs and support, including housing assistance, food aid, unemployment assistance, counseling and medical services and legal services," a statement from Governor Brown said.
"The declaration also includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs, including repairs and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure such as roads, bridges and utilities," the statement added. "The declaration also includes hazard mitigation, which helps state and local governments reduce the risks and impacts of future disasters."
As of Saturday morning, the Carr Fire in Shasta County had burned 141,825 acres and was at 41 percent containment with over 1,000 residences destroyed and nearly 200 residences damaged. The Carr Fire is currently the sixth most destructive fire in the state's history, along with being the 13th most deadly and 17th largest blaze in the California record books.
California has been hard hit by wildfires, and 17 major fires continue to burn, giving new meaning to the "Golden State" nickname.
A full press release from Governor Brown related to the Presidendial Major Disaster Declaration for Shasta County and a more information can be found here.