Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday called on President Trump to help California fight and recover from another devastating wildfire season.
Brown, who inspected neighborhoods wiped out by a wildfire in the Northern California city of Redding, said he was confident the president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Trump did last year when California’s wine country was hit hard.
“The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I’m hopeful,” said Brown, a Democrat. “Tragedies bring people together.”
There are 17 major fires burning throughout California, authorities said. In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people — including four firefighters– and shut down Yosemite National Park.
“Fire season is really just beginning,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection chief Ken Pimlott said.
The biggest blazes continue to burn north of San Francisco, including twin wildfires fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather.
Those fires destroyed 55 homes and forced thousands of residents to flee their neighborhoods about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of the city. They have grown to a combined 300 square miles (648 kilometers). The two fires have charred an area of the forested, rural area five times the size of San Francisco and were only 27 percent contained. Thousands of people remain evacuated.
The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings of critical fire weather conditions through Saturday night, saying a series of dry low-pressure systems passing through the region could bring wind gusts of up to 35 mph (56 kph) that could turn small fires or even sparks into racing walls of flames.