The president is urging President Donald Trump to “move fast” on cleaning up the West Coast of wildfires, urging the administration to send a team to the region as early as Friday.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Trump said the region faces “serious, chronic, catastrophic risks” and that “we need to act immediately to address those threats.”
The president said the federal government needs to work with state and local governments and communities to ensure safe access to the wildfire-prone areas.
“We need to ensure our emergency response teams have the resources they need to deal with these critical wildfires,” the president said.
“The President is also urging Congress to provide emergency funding for the state and federal governments.”
In an email, a White House official said Trump will convene the president’s emergency response team at 1 p.m.
Friday to review the situation and recommend a timeline to the president.
“While this is a very serious and difficult situation, we must work together to get it under control and provide the greatest benefit to our communities,” the official said.
Trump’s order on Wednesday also ordered the National Guard to “take immediate steps” to evacuate federal workers from the region.
“Federal workers are being asked to evacuate immediately,” the order said.
The federal government’s response team has been preparing for a wildfire season that has seen four deadly wildfires in the past year, most recently a fire that killed 17 people in California.
The National Guard has already been sent to the state, the California-Oregon border and other states.
In January, the National Park Service ordered the closure of the Big Sur National Recreation Area.
Officials there said they could not afford the $15 million cost of evacuating the park service workers.
The fires have also forced tens of thousands of people to flee the region, with at least four deaths and thousands more being displaced.
“It’s not only a disaster for our country, it’s a disaster that’s happening to California and we’re going to be there for them,” said California Gov.
Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
“They’re going back and forth, and we are just going to have to move fast.”