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Cárdenas, Hill, Sherman Urge Trump to Support California Efforts to Contain Saddleridge Fire

Oct 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Katie Hill (CA-25), and Brad Sherman (CA-30) sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor, urging the administration to make the necessary preparations to declare a disaster declaration should California Governor Gavin Newsom request it. The Saddleridge fire, which broke out in Sylmar Thursday evening, has engulfed 7500 acres and is only 13 percent contained. 

“Before the Saddleridge Fire causes irreparable damage, I ask that you take the necessary steps in preparation of making a disaster declaration should the Governor request it,” the letter states. “We know from past experiences of the destructive capacity of these fires so I urge you, Mr. President, to make sure that all precautionary measures have been taken to mitigate this disaster and that all federal resources are made to protect the people of Los Angeles.”

The three members of Congress from California also sent a letter to Governor Newsom expressing their support of his efforts to direct resources to battle the blaze. 


The text of the letter to President Trump is made available below:


Dear President Trump and Administrator Gaynor: 


I write to bring to your attention the Saddleridge fire that is blazing in Los Angeles County so that federal assistance can be readied to respond to this catastrophe.  The Saddleridge fire threatens the people in our districts.  


More than 1,000 Los Angeles firefighters are battling the fire in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys that has burned more than 4,700 acres in the span of a few hours. Authorities have ordered mandatory evacuations affecting 100,000 people in over 20,000 homes. Structures and homes have been lost to this blaze, and lives continue to be put at risk. As of this moment, there is zero percent containment and the fire is burning at a rate of 800 acres per hour.  The Saddleridge fire began on October 10, 2019 in Sylmar and has been exacerbated by the Santa Ana Winds.  The weather conditions may pose a challenge for some of the aircrafts used for fire suppression. The California Highway Patrol has been forced to close down portions of the 14, 5, 210, and 118 freeways due to the fire.  The LA County Fire Department has stated the fire is still growing as more crews arrive to fight the fire.  


I am pleased that a Fire Management Assistance GrantDeclaration was authorized today, October 11, 2019, for theSaddleridge fire, but there is more that needs to be done to ensure that first responders and the people of Los Angeles have access to necessary federal resources.


Before the Saddleridge fire causes irreparable damage, I ask that you take the necessary steps in preparation of making a disaster declaration should the Governor request it.  We know from past experiences of the destructive capacity of these fires, so I urge you, Mr. President, to make sure that all precautionary measures have been taken to mitigate this disaster and that all federal resources are made ready to protect the people of Los Angeles.