Newsom signs state of emergency to support California communities recovering from wildfires
A state of emergency has been declared to support communities recovering from wildfires in California.
In a statement, Governor Gavin Newsom said he signed the order despite concerns about the economic impact. As the recovery continues, the governor said a special fund will be set up to help with economic and community recovery.
“California is a leader in economic development and a global model for how to build resilient communities and achieve economic prosperity,” Newsom said in the statement, signed Sunday morning at a wildfire recovery center in Madera. “That is why we are partnering with local leaders and partners to help communities heal and get back to work.”
The governor’s order makes it illegal to fly over California to help with wildfires; requires more water to be used on fire equipment; limits the number of employees in state-owned firefighting facilities; and prohibits state-funded economic development and business meetings that help with recovery.
The emergency declaration would allow the governor to direct state activities, and the state Office of Emergency Services will be the lead agency in the coordination of action.
Newsom said they would use these new powers to help California get back to “normal life again.”
The order also requires the state to work with local fire authorities to find ways to provide support to communities that are still recovering from past fires, as well as with communities in the path of future fires.
After news of Newsom’s order broke, the state Office for Emergency Services said it was concerned about the impact of the order on businesses, residents, insurers, taxpayers, the economy and the state’s ability to respond effectively to disasters.
“While the use of this unprecedented authority is intended to support those who need it most, the order also impacts economic activity and the operation of California public agencies as they carry out their mission,” OES director Mike Bohn said in a statement.
The Office for Emergency Services has been coordinating with the governor’s office,