Panetta, Thompson, Eshoo, Garamendi, Huffman, LaMalfa, and 26 California Members Request Wildfire Disaster Declaration

21 August 2020

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USA – MONTEREY, CA – Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Rep. John Garamendi (CA-03), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), and 26 other Republicans and Democrats in the California delegation, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) wrote to the President asking him to immediately grant California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the destructive wildfires that have hit Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties over the last week. The letter was also signed by Representatives Karen Bass (CA-37), Ami Bera (CA-7), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Paul Cook (CA-08), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Jim Costa (CA-16), Mark Desaulnier (CA-11), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Jerry McNerney (CA-9), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), and Juan Vargas (CA-51). Text of the letter is below and a copy linked here.

August 21, 2020

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to request full and fair consideration of the State of California’s request for a major disaster declaration as a result of several fires burning across the State.

As you may know, an extreme weather event which began on August 14, 2020 caused record-breaking temperatures and Red Flag Warnings throughout California. During these exacerbated fire conditions, the State experienced widespread lightning strikes which resulted in hundreds of fires across California. Several of these fires, including the River Fire in Monterey County, the Jones Fire in Nevada County, the Carmel Fire in Monterey County, the CZU August Lightning Complex in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties and LNU Lightning Complex Fire in Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Yolo Counties, have rapidly grown. These fires have destroyed 3,326 residences and currently are threatening more than 42,154 structures more along with critical infrastructure across the State. Currently, these fires have collectively burned more than 209,643 acres.

This massive explosion of fire activity has resulted in an immense strain on California’s resources and firefighting capabilities. It is increasingly difficult for the State and local governments to obtain the necessary resources to respond to these fires. California is instituting all possible actions at its disposal to combat this massive disaster. However, the size and scope of the current fire activity demands assistance, coordination, and federal action. This is why, we ask your full and fair consideration of the State of California’s request for a major disaster declaration as a result of several fires burning statewide.

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