SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday sent the following letter to members of the California Congressional Delegation urging them to fully fund the Disaster Relief Fund, which would provide California vital federal funding in the event of a natural disaster.

Text of the letter:
Dear Members of the California Congressional Delegation,

As you work on the Fiscal Year 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act, I am writing to urge you to fully and quickly fund the federal Disaster Relief Fund. I am pleased that both the House and the Senate have moved forward with legislation to include funding for this critical program, but it is imperative that a final bill reaches the President’s desk swiftly in order to ensure funding is available as soon as possible.

California faces the threat of natural disasters – including flooding, earthquakes, landslides and fires – each and every year. In fact, since January 2006, California has experienced more than 40 federally declared disasters and almost 60 state-declared disasters. Most recently, we requested and subsequently received a presidential declaration for the Baja earthquake to assist us in our recovery efforts in Imperial County.

In addition to the recovery efforts already underway in California, we are preparing for our state’s quickly approaching fire season. Despite a wet winter in most of the state, the threat of large and damaging wildfires still exists every year. California’s wildfires have grown larger and more catastrophic in recent years; in fact, the largest fires in recent history have occurred in the last four years. Last year alone, Californians saw more than 7,000 fires burn across our state.

California maintains a multi-pronged approach to public safety in the event of a disaster and has the best-trained first responders. However, recovery from any large-scale disaster requires federal assistance. It is critical that we work together to ensure that we can continue to protect the lives and property of Californians by providing the necessary resources – very much including the federal Disaster Relief Fund. Your support and swift action will substantially enhance the resilience of California in times of disaster.

Arnold Schwarzenegger