(TNS) - Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday in Napa and Sonoma and Shasta counties, and sent a letter to President Trump asking him to declare a “major disaster” that would send fire assistance grants into the state.
The federal emergency declaration would be the third this year, including one in August that provided grants for fires raging through Northern California. Earlier, federal money came through to help with the pandemic.
The latest request comes as the deadly Zogg Fire burning in Shasta County has killed three people and burned more than 31,000 acres. That conflagration and the Glass Fire racing through 36,200 acres of Wine Country have sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing, and destroyed homes and other buildings.
The state of emergency across the three counties authorizes California agencies to direct all equipment, buildings and employees toward emergency services. It also requires residents to “obey the direction of emergency officials,” to protect their safety.
Among other actions, the state of emergency mobilizes the California National Guard to join in response and relief efforts.
It also makes it possible for fire victims whose vital records — from birth certificates to drivers licenses — were lost in the fire to replace them free of charge, and suspends other penalties.
Newsom also wrote the president, via the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and outlined the impact of numerous fires that have burned across the state since July.
Referencing Trump’s visit this month to McClellan Air Force Base, Newsom wrote: “Unfortunately, as you witnessed during your visit, California is experiencing another siege of fires from early September, which continue to devastate communities throughout the State.”
Nanette Asimov is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @NanetteAsimov
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