A rash of wildfires broke out across southern California on December 4. The most intense Santa Ana wind event of the season only got worse as the week went on. Eventually, six major wildfires in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas combined to burn over 150,000 acres. Governor Brown of California issued States of Emergency in Ventura, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara counties, also requesting a Federal Disaster Declaration for the areas affected.
On Friday December 8, President Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of California and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from wildfires beginning on December 4, 2017, and continuing.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. This action will help alleviate the hardship that the emergency may inflict on the local population, and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide, at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.