Trump administration denies California relief for 6 fires

Current wildfire danger across the West

Newsom, a Democrat, officially requested the federal relief in a September 28 letter warning that "the longer it takes for California and its communities to recover, the more severe, devastating, and irreversible the economic impacts will be".

FEMA has previously turned down requests from other states on a similar rationale as the one provided to California - including an application in June from Texas for $190 million in aid for tornado damage dating from a year ago.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a decision Thursday denying a major disaster declaration for six wildfires across the state, saying that damage from the six blazes didn't meet a threshold of severity for the declaration. The declaration would also activate other programs that are led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

There was a clash of views between the Trump administration and California on the state's handling of wildfires. Almost 9,000 firefighters remain on the lines of 21 fires.

Numerous studies have linked bigger wildfires in the United States to climate breakdown from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

Thousands of Northern California residents remained without electricity Friday after a utility cut off service to prevent powerful winds from damaging equipment and sparking wildfires amid a fall heat wave.

The utility company Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) began shutting off power on Wednesday evening to about 50,000 customers - about 100,000 people - in portions of 24 counties, mainly in the Sierra Nevada foothills and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Recent fires included in the disaster declaration request were the Creek Fire, the largest wildfire in the state's history, which has scorched 341,722 acres across Fresno and Madera counties, the Bobcat Fire, which has burned 115,796 acres in Los Angeles County, and the El Dorado Fire, which was sparked by a gender reveal party in San Bernardino County over Labor Day weekend.

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Berens is also set to consider Friday whether two of the men, Adam Fox and Ty Garbin, should be denied bond ahead of trial. A sixth man, DE resident Barry Croft, was separately ordered to be transferred to MI earlier this week.

State authorities investigated this week whether PG&E equipment might have caused the deadly Zogg Fire, which killed four people and destroyed more than 200 structures in Shasta County, north of San Francisco.

Hot winds gusting to 55 miles per hour were expected to heighten the threat of blazes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, which already has had some of the worst wildfires in state history. "Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay for it because they don't listen to us". "Not only are we right in the peak of the wildfire season. many of us are working from home, schooling from home as well", he said.

"It's all very stressful".

People have been buying generators, electrical cords, flashlights, batteries, gas cans and other supplies to help them deal with the latest outage, expected to last through Friday evening, Collins said.

Most of this year's fires have occurred since mid-August, when an unusual siege of thousands of lightning strikes ignited huge blazes.

"While good progress has been made on a number of fires, this could hamper containment efforts", Mr Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire assistant deputy director, said on Twitter on Tuesday.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

The National Weather Service is predicting strong, dry "Diablo" winds in Northern California, and temperatures over 90 degrees F (32 C) in the southern part of the state.

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