California Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Wildfires

September 7, 2020 Updated: September 7, 2020

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 6 declared a state of emergency in five counties due to the danger posed by three wildfires that are burning in the state, prompting evacuations.

Newsom said in a statement that tens of thousands of acres have already been burned by three wildfires. They are the Creek Fire, El Dorado Fire, and the Valley Fire. He said that California is working with federal officials for assistance.

“Governor Newsom has declared a statewide emergency due to the widespread fires and extreme weather conditions, and secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to the Northern California wildfires,” his office said in the statement.

The counties impacted under the state of emergency are Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa due to the Creek Fire. San Bernardino County is impacted due to the El Dorado Fire, and San Diego County is impacted because of the Valley Fire.

“California has also secured Fire Management Assistance Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the state’s response to fires burning in Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Napa, Nevada, Lake, Solano, Yolo, and Monterey counties,” the statement read. Those fires are located in Central or Northern California.

This season, California wildfires have burned tens of thousands of acres, destroyed houses, and led to the evacuation of thousands of people.

Epoch Times Photo
California Governor Gavin Newsom is interviewed while visiting the Hot and Cool Cafe in Los Angeles, on June 3, 2020. (Genaro Molina/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Officials with the California Independent System Operator, an electricity management agency, issued a statewide Flex Alert from Sept. 5 to 7. The agency has called on customers to conserve power in the midst of a heat wave that has hit the West Coast.

Newsom also obtained a major disaster declaration from President Donald Trump and assistance grants to support the battle against Northern California fires.

Last month, the governor declared a statewide emergency over the wildfires.

“We are deploying every resource available to keep communities safe as California battles fires across the state during these extreme conditions,” Newsom said at the time in August. “California and its federal and local partners are working in lockstep to meet the challenge and remain vigilant in the face of continued dangerous weather conditions.”

Trump last month again criticized officials in California for mismanaging the state’s forests.

“I see again, the forest fires are starting,” Trump said when he signed a presidential disaster declaration for the state. “They’re starting again in California. And I said, you’ve got to clean your floors. You’ve got to clean your floors.”

Trump said that he has “been telling them this now for three years.”