Gov. Jerry Brown Declares State of Emergency in California to Bolster Wildfire Response

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Friday in response to severe wildfires burning across the state, exacerbated by severe drought conditions and extreme weather.

According to a statement released by Brown's press office late Friday afternoon, Brown made the declaration to help mobilize additional firefighters and disaster response resources.

"California’s severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox,” said Brown. “Our courageous firefighters are on the front lines and we’ll do everything we can to help them.”

A series of wildfires that started in June in Butte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Solano and Yolo counties, among others, burning thousands of acres of land. The fires have destroyed homes, closed major highways and local roads, prompted evacuations and continue to threaten hundreds of structures.

Brown declared a state of emergency in January based on California's historic drought, which has been going on for four years now. Drought conditions have caused millions of trees to die, increasing the spread of fire throughout the state, Brown said.

Brown's proclamation also says that both the fire and the drought has caused California's air quality to deteriorate, impacting public heath.

Federal grants have been requested and approved for the Wragg fire currently burning in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties and for the North Fire burning in San Bernardino County.

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