Gov. Gavin Newsom signs state of emergency

Newsom signs state of emergency to support California communities recovering from wildfires

The state of emergency ordered by Gov. Gavin Newsom remains in effect until further notice, officials said Tuesday.

Newsom announced the order Monday, citing the wildfires that have ravaged the state’s western communities. It affects several thousand employees, from the California National Guard and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, who are working to fight the blazes.

“By signing my emergency declaration today, the governor is sending a clear message to all Californians: we will not allow communities to be destroyed or communities to endure tragedy without a plan to end the pain and suffering of fire victims,” Newsom said in a statement.

“This declaration will allow public safety workers to quickly get the resources they need to help people recover from these devastating fires,” Newsom said. “I would also like to thank our partners and their families for their selfless efforts and their generous assistance.”

Related: California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs state of emergency amid wildfires

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a state of emergency. Image courtesy of Newsom

Newsom’s Tuesday announcement came just minutes after the governor signed a bill in the Legislature that bans California’s public utilities from turning off electricity to people who are not home at the time of a natural disaster or major power failure in order to protect ratepayers and other service customers and ensure that utilities operate safely during emergencies.

The governor also signed into law three bills that would bar cities from requiring residents to evacuate during a disaster. The law would also prohibit cities from banning all outdoor public use of fireworks during a disaster.

“During a fire, your home might be gone and your family could be left without a roof over their head, without heat or electricity and without medicine or groceries,” said state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa.

Related: California governor signs emergency measures to aid wildfire victims

“These are tough choices Californians, who are already struggling through the recession, must make,” Newsom said.

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