California · Highlight

Following push from Calif. Republicans, Trump reverses FEMA rejection of wildfire aid

President Donald Trump is reversing course on Federal aid for clean-up efforts of California’s wildfires, two days after officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied a request from Gov. Gavin Newsom, sources told The Sun.

The reversal from Trump comes after a furious 24-hour lobbying push by Republican members of California’s House Delegation, including Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Devin Nunes (R-Tulare).

At the conclusion of September, Newsom requested individual and public assistance  from FEMA for clean-up efforts on the millions of acres of California lands. 

In a letter issued Wednesday, FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor argued California and local agencies had sufficient resources to manage clean-up efforts. 

State and local leaders announced early Friday they were preparing an appeal of the rejection of aid. 

The lack of Federal assistance would have posed considerable problems for Valley waterways.

Fire-singed debris and other remnants from the wildfires are likely to be swept into local watershed should rain arrive in the Sierra foothills.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at