ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- U.S. President George Bush assured victims of California’s wildfires that they won't be forgotten by the federal government once the flames are snuffed out.
The president said in brief remarks Thursday in northern San Diego County that the federal government was pulling out all stops in assisting the firefighting efforts and would also be lending a hand to people who lost their homes and businesses.
“We are not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.,” Bush said at a park in Escondido, Calif., where he shook hands with squads of soot-stained firefighters still engaged in the battle.
Bush said the federal government role was largely to “assess needs, listen to concerns and to respond.” Although federal agencies were largely supporting local governments, he urged members of the public to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Prior to his remarks, Bush took an aerial tour of burned-out neighborhoods and met with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and top generals from the National Guard and U.S. Northern Command.
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