President Trump on Tuesday declared that a major natural disaster exists in California and ordered federal assistance to help local agencies in recovery efforts in areas affected by the Thomas fire, which started Dec. 4 and is still burning.
The declaration means federal funds will be available to state and local governments for emergency work in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, according to a news release from the White House.
Nonprofit organizations will also be eligible to receive funds for emergency work.
So far, the Thomas fire has cost more than $204.5 million to fight, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said. More than 1,000 structures were destroyed and an additional 280 structures were damaged, the spokesman said.