President Trump approved California’s request for an emergency declaration Friday.
According to a White House press release, Trump ordered federal assistance to help the state respond to the wildfires that blazed across Southern California this week.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts. “This action will help alleviate the hardship and suffering that the emergency may inflict on the local population,” the release said.
As he has each morning since the Thomas fire triggered mandatory evacuation orders in Ojai Valley three days ago, Ken Williams leaned back in a folding chair at a Red Cross shelter and flicked the switch of an amateur radio console.
The radio enabled him to keep track of the chatter on emergency response channels, and provided a sense of the fire’s behavior.
But something remarkable happened when he turned it on at daybreak Friday.