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‘This is the new abnormal:’ Gov. Brown amplifies request for more federal wildfire assistance

Posted at 5:11 PM, Nov 11, 2018

California Governor Jerry Brown is using carefully selected words to ask President Donald Trump for more federal assistance for the wildfires burning in Northern and Southern California.

On Sunday, California reiterated its request that the Trump administration issue a major disaster declaration to help with the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Hill and Woolsey Fires burning in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

The California Office of Emergency Services said it is grateful for the assistance that it has already received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the state agency says it needs more federal help to fully address the current wildfires.

The president has repeatedly criticized California’s forest management and water supply as reasons for the escalating size and danger of recent wildfires.

“Managing all the forests in every way we can does not stop climate change,” Brown said. “Those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing and will continue to witness in the coming years.”

While Brown did indirectly address the president’s comments, he still indicated in Sunday afternoon’s press conference that he is open to discussing the multitude ways in which local, state, and federal agencies can mitigate future wildfires.

“This is real here. It’s not a question of pointing this way or that way, but pulling together in these tragic circumstances and thinking wisely and collaboratively,” Brown said.

Governor Brown also amended his statement he made after touring destruction from the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties nearly one year ago in which he said that this is the new normal for California.

“This is not the new normal. This is the new abnormal, and this new abnormal will continue certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, the best science is telling us that dryness, warmth, drought, all those things, they’re going to intensify.”