Trump Approves Emergency Aid As Wildfires Scorch California

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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President Donald Trump authorized federal assistance for California on Friday as around half a dozen wildfires consume the southern part of the state.

Trump sanctioned the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide resources for recovery and protection. The federal government will take up 75 percent of the recovery effort, according to a White House press release.

Nearly 6,000 firefighters are fighting six fires in southern California. 160,000 acres have burned so far, forcing 190,000 evacuations, CNN reports.

“This is a very dangerous period of time we’re going through in the County of San Diego,” the county’s deputy chief administrative officer Ron Lane said according to The New York Times. “We have to be resilient.”

The most destructive fire, the Thomas Fire, has burned 132,000 acres, including razing neighborhoods in the city of Ventura. Despite firefighters attacking the blaze since it started Monday, the fire is only 10 percent contained.

High winds have left firefighters in a near impossible situation. The National Weather Service declared “code purple” conditions along 200 miles of California’s coast from San Diego to Ventura Thursday, meaning “upon ignition, fires will have extreme growth, will burn very intensely, and will be uncontrollable.”

Much of the “extreme growth” is due high winds that have blown through California all week. Wind speeds around 35 to 55 miles per hour are expected to blow through Sunday, according to CNN.

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