• By The Financial District


Gov. Gavin Newsom said that President Donald Trump has approved the state's request for a major disaster declaration for wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the state.

The reversal came hours after the Trump administration had denied the bid and California officials were planning to appeal the rejection.

KCRA 3 News said that, in a tweet, Newsom said he had spoken with Trump over the phone and that the president "has just approved our Major Disaster Declaration request."

"Grateful for his quick response," the governor wrote.

Newsom had requested financial aid from the federal government in a September letter sent to the Trump administration. The request was for the following fires:

  • Valley Fire in San Diego County

  • El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County

  • Creek Fire in Fresno and Madera counties (largest wildfire in state history)

  • Oak Fire in Mendocino County

  • Bobcat Fire in Los Angeles County

  • Slater Fire in Siskiyou County

The infrastructure damage from the fires exceeds $229 million. Newsom wrote in the letter that "federal assistance is critical to support physical and economic recovery of California and its communities."

"The longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating, and irreversible the economic impacts will be," he wrote.

When a state reaches out to the president, there are two types of request for help: an emergency declaration, which caps federal aid at $5 million, and then a major disaster declaration. A state has to prove that the damage is beyond the ability of state and local agencies to respond during and after the incident.