WA senators say Trump’s inaction on wildfire relief ‘has held constituents hostage for 128 days’

Malden Fire 4

WASHINGTON, DC — Four months after wildfires destroyed much of the towns of Pine City and Malden, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray hope a new administration will clear up funding to help the communities.

The senators from Washington sent a joint letter to President Biden Friday, asking him to “quickly approve” Gov. Jay Inslee’s requests for a Major Disaster Declaration. Gov. Inslee made those requests on September 16th and October 8th.

The letter points to an “historically destructive wildfire season” in Washington, in which 626,982 acres burned in a five-day period in September.

“The town of Malden, a small, rural community in Whitman County, was devastated by wildfires, with 80% of its structures destroyed or seriously damaged,” the letter reads. “Most of Malden’s 300-some residents are under- or uninsured and are also grappling with the strenuous economic burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic. These residents cannot wait any longer.”

PAST COVERAGE: ‘The entire town is gone’; Malden devastated by wildfires, most homes destroyed 

The senators say the Washington delegation sent three letters of support to former President Trump.

“Despite responding to other disasters across the country that occurred after Washington’s wildfires, the Trump administration refused to make a determination and, as a result, has held our constituents hostage for 128 days. This inaction by the former president and his administration is unconscionable and we look to you to right this wrong for our constituents.”

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