Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom of California requested emergency funds in response to the damage caused by the wildfires occurring across the state. The White House was asked to declare “a major disaster” in the seven counties experiencing devastating fires during the month of September.
Although this recent fire season destroyed 3,300 homes, burned across 1.9 million acres, and includes a fire that has been deemed the single largest in the state’s history, the Trump administration has rejected California’s emergency aid declaration. California, however, plans to appeal this decision.
The Creek Fire, which is the largest in California’s history, burned across 341,722 acres and is only one of six fires mentioned in the disaster declaration request. Governor Newsom claims that infrastructure damage estimates exceed $229 million, but the White House rejected the declaration on the basis that there was a lack of relevant data to support the claims.
As the intensity of wildfire seasons continue to increase, California officials look to climate change as an explanation. The Trump administration, on the other hand, has heavily criticized the leadership in California for looking for solutions to climate change. As Trump continues to take away from the important impact climate change may have on these intense wildfires, he rests his solution on the clearing of dead trees and vegetation that fuel the fires.