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California asks for $7.4 billion to help wildfire recovery

November 03, 2017 12:51 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown joined lawmakers to request $7.4 billion in federal funding for wildfire relief and recovery efforts following a deadly cluster of fires that killed more than 40 people and left thousands without housing.

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In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, Brown joined California's two U.S. Senators and 39 members of the California congressional delegation to urge President Donald Trump and Congress to quickly adopt a third disaster-related appropriations bill to support the state's recovery.

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

A series of blazes that started the night of October 8 in several Northern California counties killed at least 43 people and destroyed about 8,900 homes and other buildings.

Officials have not yet assessed all of the blazes' damages and impacts, but the Governor's Office and the affected counties have determined that $7.4 billion in federal funding is needed to help California recover, the letter reads.

Congress last month approved $576.5 million in aid for wildfires in California and the U.S. West.

Trump pledged aid for California fire victims on Oct. 10, saying he had told Brown that "the federal government will stand with the people of California."

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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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