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Trump reverses course and grants California's wildfire disaster declaration request

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, a house burns on Platina Road at the Zogg Fire near Ono, Calif. California's largest utility company said its equipment might have caused a fatal wildfire last month in a county in the northern part of the state, the Mercury News reported Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.??(AP Photo/Ethan Swope, File)

President Donald Trump approved California's request for a presidential disaster declaration to help combat the state's record-setting wildfires, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, a day after the administration initially rejected the request.

(CNN)President Donald Trump approved California's request for a presidential disaster declaration to help combat the state's record-setting wildfires, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, a day after the administration initially rejected the request.

"Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request.

The back and forth comes after the White House said Thursday that California's request for a presidential major disaster declaration was rejected because it was "not supported by the relevant data. " Thirty-one people have died as a result of the wildfires and more than 9,200 structures have been destroyed.

"The governor and (House Minority Leader Kevin) McCarthy spoke and presented a convincing case and additional on-the-ground perspective for reconsideration leading the President to approve the declaration," said White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

Trump approved California's prior request for a disaster declaration for the coronavirus pandemic in March, according to a White House news release.

That declaration meant the state could receive federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts to areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the release said.

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