California lawmakers meet with Pence about fires

FILE PHOTO - A car drives past a large wall of approaching flames from the Lilac Fire, a fast moving wild fire in Bonsall, California, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the House of Representatives from California areas currently battling massive wildfires met with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Tuesday, telling reporters afterward that federal assistance has been swift but that it still may take a week to contain the Ventura blaze.

Republican Representative Ken Calvert, who serves on the House appropriations committee, said the federal government would make sure the “appropriate” disaster-response agencies were funded.

He added it would work on watershed protection and other projects to prevent future disasters during rainstorms in the state. With their trees and vegetation now burned away, California’s hills and canyons are more susceptible to flash flooding and deadly mudslides.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Sandra Maler