Congressman Kevin McCarthy visited Santa Rosa, CA today and participated in both an aerial and ground tour of communities impacted by the wildfires. He also received a briefing at the Sonoma County Airport from FEMA Regional Administrator Bob Fenton, Cal Office of Emergency Services (OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci, and CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott, and was joined by his California colleague, Rep. Mike Thompson. After the briefing, McCarthy expressed gratitude for the local firefighters, police officers, and first responders and stressed his commitment to ensure federal, state, and local resources are utilized effectively in the rebuilding effort.

“Judy and I continue to pray for our fellow Californians impacted by these devastating fires – especially the family and friends who have lost loved ones,” said McCarthy. “As our nation has faced several natural disasters over the past several weeks, these fires have proven to be equally as fierce, and have sadly claimed too many lives and displaced too many families. Today, I was honored to say ‘thank you’ to some of the first responders and firefighters who saved lives and battled these fires for days. The commitment they showed toward their fellow man inspires us all.

“But this fight is not over, and after receiving a briefing from emergency officials on the ground, I know there is much more work to be done in the immediate and long term. Congress has a role to ensure financial resources are provided for these efforts to continue uninterrupted. The House passed legislation last week to increase this funding and the Senate should act on this legislation soon and send it to the President’s desk. Over the coming weeks and months, the federal government will continue to be with our neighbors as they rebuild from this tragedy and look at longer-term solutions, including fixing Forest Service budgeting and forest management to stop these devastating fires before they begin.”