Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Friday that President Trump reversed his earlier decision to reject wildfire disaster relief for the state, hours after Trump administration officials explained why the state should not receive the aid.

Why it matters: California is facing its worst fire season on record, with over 4.1 million acres burned this year.

  • The Trump administration's initial rejection "had counties with COVID-impacted economies scrambling to figure out what to do without the aid," the Los Angeles Times wrote on Friday.

What they're saying: "Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response," Newsom tweeted.

  • White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told Axios in an emailed statement that Newsom and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) "spoke and presented a convincing case and additional on-the-ground perspective for reconsideration leading the President to approve the declaration."

Earlier Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Newsom's original request, which was sent last month, for disaster relief funds to clean up the damage from six recent fires across the state.

  • "The damage assessments conducted with state and local partners determined that the early September fires were not of such severity and magnitude to exceed the combined capabilities of the state, affected local governments, voluntary agencies and other responding federal agencies," FEMA officials told ABC News.

Flashback: Last year, Trump threatened to withhold federal aid from California.

  • "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!," Trump said in a tweet in 2019.

Go deeper

"Rare," record-breaking Colorado wildfires burn beyond normal season

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: David McNew and George Rose

The East Troublesome Fire is now Colorado's second largest fire on record, growing to roughly 170,163 acres as of Friday morning.

Why it matters: Authorities said there was "potential" for East Troublesome to merge with the state's largest blaze on record, the Cameron Peak Fire, but such an event was unlikely at this point. The two fires are only about 10 miles apart, per the Coloradan.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
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Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.