White House spokesman Judd Deere said in an email that California Gov. Gavin Newsom and House of Representatives Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, “presented a compelling case” for approving the aid.
Newsom said in a press release that it is “grateful for (Trump’s) quick response.” He had asked the president in September to declare a major disaster in seven fire-affected counties.
Trump issued a major disaster statement in August for parts of the state, a measure that allows federal assistance to be provided to people, infrastructure and emergency and permanent activities.
In the following month, however, several major fires broke out across the state, prompting further support. About 4.1 million acres (16,600 square miles) were burned in California this year, breaking a previous record and causing $ 229 million in damage.
The Trump administration and the Democratic-led state of California have clashed several times.
Trump has repeatedly blamed vegetation fires for the California authorities’ inability to clear forest of trees and dead debris and threatened to refuse federal assistance.
“They have massive fires in California again. Maybe we’ll just have to make them pay because they’re not listening to us,” Trump said at an August campaign rally.
In fact, more than half of California’s forests are under federal management, but the state spends more than the US Forest Service on managing those lands and reducing the risk of fires.