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Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, October 27, 2003 (Full Transcript)

MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon. I would like to start with a brief update on federal assistance in fighting the wildfires in California. The President is continuing to monitor the California wildfire situation. He has been assured that all federal resources necessary to fight these fires will be provided to the state of California. FEMA Director Mike Brown is on his way there now. The FEMA regional operations center has been mobilized to coordinate closely with state and local officials and other federal agencies. We have FEMA personnel stationed at the state emergency operations center to be in direct contact with California State emergency management teams.

The Department of Homeland Security has made available 150 customs and border protection agents to assist with evacuations and to support local law enforcement. Since last Thursday, FEMA has approved eight fire management assistance grants to support the state's efforts to combat the recent outbreak of wildfires. This assistance is aimed at helping California with expenses for field camps, equipment use, repair and replacement, tools, materials and supplies, and mobilization and demobilization activities.

So that's the latest update. We are continuing to work with California state officials to assess their needs in terms of the request we received overnight, as well.

And with that, I'll be glad to jump right into questions

Okay, thank you. (Laughter.) Terry, go ahead.

QUESTION: Scott, there are now upwards of 35 attacks a day being perpetrated in Iraq, and I wonder how the President can claim that's progress?

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