President Trump Declares Disaster Over Southern California Fire - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

President Trump Declares Disaster Over Southern California Fire

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Courtesy: AP Courtesy: AP

President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster in California over a wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 buildings.

The White House announced Tuesday that the president has granted disaster status, which will help make federal funds available to supplement recovery efforts in the wake of the Thomas Fire that ravaged Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Governor Jerry Brown requested the declaration last month.

Firefighting costs for the blaze have approached $200 million. Brown also noted the need to help cover immense costs expected to rebuild homes, deal with economic issues and remove vast amounts of debris.

In a visit to Ventura on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen said the president's declaration will help residents rebuild after the fire destroyed more than 700 homes.

The fire - the largest in modern state history - is 92% contained. The fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, Secretary Nielsen says the federal government is helping to remove thousands of tons of debris as part of rebuilding efforts in wildfire-ravaged areas of Northern California.

Wildfires that swept through Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Yuba counties in October killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes. State officials say insured damages alone topped $9 billion.

Secretary Nielsen says the blazes also left behind more than 700,000 tons of debris. Nielsen spoke Wednesday in the hard-hit city of Santa Rosa, where she surveyed the destruction and met with survivors.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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