California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking the Bush administration to declare Southern California a federal disaster site after fires tore through wide swaths of the region.
According to a letter the governor sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state needs help cleaning up after wildfires destroyed more than 800 homes and burned more than 40,000 acres over the weekend.
Schwarzenegger says California needs help cleaning up debris and protecting burned properties from potential flooding.
The governor also requested disaster loans for the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara and San Bernardino. He says many of the residents affected by the fires — particularly mobile home owners — lacked insurance or are seriously underinsured.
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