Cal Fire

FEMA Still Aides Wildfire Survivors Despite Trump's Vow To Cut California's Funds

Melissa Culross
February 22, 2019 - 10:40 am

Survivors of last year's devastating wildfire in Butte County are still receiving federal assistance despite President Trump's criticial tweet last month vowing to withhold additional relief money from California because of alleged mismanagement. 

"We are still providing assistance. We're still going out and looking at damages and determining what individuals and their families are eligible for," said FEMA spokeswoman Brandi Richard. 

Such support apppeared endangered on January 9 when Trump accused California of wasting "billions of dollars" on wildfires due to poor forest management. and said he'd ordered FEMA to cut off funds. 

Richard said that no official order to terminate funding was ever issued. 

"We're very interested in making sure that people recover. That's why we work for FEMA. That's why we do this work," said Richard. "We really care about our constituents and the people we support and help." 

The Camp Fire in Butte County was the deadliest and most destructive in California's history, killing 86 people and destroying 13,972 homes, according to Cal Fire.

On its website, FEMA says that it has approved $74.4 billion to 7,798 assistance applications for fires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties in November. 

BuzzFeed News first reported that FEMA was still assisting the 2018 wildfire survivors.