California Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Wildfires

Brown's emergency proclamation cites wildfires in 15 counties that have burned thousands of acres of land, causing evacuations of thousands of residents and forcing the closure of major highways and local roads. The governor had declared a state of emergency because of the state's extreme drought in January 2014.

Citing wildfires burning across the state of California, exacerbated by severe drought conditions and extreme weather, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. on July 31 declared a state of emergency to help mobilize additional firefighting and disaster response resources. "California's severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox," Brown said. "Our courageous firefighters are on the front lines, and we'll do everything we can to help them."

This summer is a serious wildfire season throughout the far western United States, from Alaska to California.

Brown also issued a statement on July 31 mourning the death of U.S. Forest Service Firefighter David Ruhl. "Anne and I were saddened to learn of the tragic death of U.S. Forest Service Firefighter Dave Ruhl, who left his home state to help protect one of California's majestic forests. Firefighter Ruhl will be remembered for his service and bravery, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues with the U.S. Forest Service," Brown said.

Ruhl, 38, of Rapid City, S.D., served in the Mystic Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. He died July 30 while fighting the Frog Fire burning in the Modoc National Forest outside Alturas, Calif.

Brown's emergency proclamation cites wildfires in 15 counties that have burned thousands of acres of land, causing evacuations of thousands of residents and forcing the closure of major highways and local roads. The governor had declared a state of emergency because of the state's extreme drought in January 2014.

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