WASHINGTON – This week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to California to tour areas impacted by the devastating wildfires. In California, Secretary Nielsen pledged the federal government’s support to help rebuild affected communities.

On Tuesday, January 2, Secretary Nielsen was in Ventura where she took an overflight of areas impacted by the Thomas Fire, received a briefing from federal, state, county, and local officials on wildfire response and recovery efforts, and met with families affected by the Thomas Fire. In Ventura, Secretary Nielsen announced that in response to the devastation, the president declared a major disaster for the counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara.

On Wednesday, January 3, Secretary Nielsen was in Sonoma County where she visited neighborhoods impacted by the Tubbs Fire, received a briefing from federal, state, county, and local officials on wildfire response and recovery efforts, and met with Federal and State employees.

“Seeing the devastation, I am deeply moved and inspired by the heroic men and women who have been battling multiple catastrophic wildfires,” said Secretary Nielsen.“Countless communities across the state have faced the devastating impact of these fires, and we’re both proud of—and grateful for—our brave first responders. As the people of California begin to rebuild what these fires have destroyed, the federal government and FEMA are committed to supporting state and local authorities throughout the recovery process. We can—and we will—rebuild California together.”