California asks for $7.4bn for wildfire rebuilding

2017-11-06 08:25
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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San Francisco - California Governor Jerry Brown and lawmakers have asked the US government for $7.4 billion to help rebuild after a cluster of fires tore through the heart of wine country, killing more than 40 people and leaving thousands without housing.

In a letter to the White House, Brown joined California's two US senators and 39 members of its 52-member congressional delegation to urge President Donald Trump and Congress to quickly adopt a disaster-related appropriations measure to support the state's recovery.

Brown said the funding would go toward cleanup and programmes to support housing, transportation, agriculture, environmental protection and other services for those affected by the fires.

Agricultural industries

A series of blazes that started in Northern California the night of October 8 killed at least 43 people and destroyed about 8 900 homes and other buildings. At the peak, thousands of firefighters battled 21 blazes that burned simultaneously.

Officials have not yet assessed all the damage and effects of the fires, but the governor's office and the affected counties determined that $7.4bn in federal funding is needed to help California recover, the letter says.

The wildfires significantly damaged farmland, rangeland and watersheds, and more than a third of the funding requested, $3.1bn, would go toward helping agricultural industries bounce back, including affected wineries, California officials said.

During the wildfires last month, Brown declared a state of emergency for the Northern California counties of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino and Nevada as well as Orange County in the south.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  fires  |  natural disasters

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