Trump halts federal funds for Calif. wildfires, forest management

Adjust Comment Print

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor", Trump tweeted.

The tweet states that the president has ordered FEMA to stop sending money "unless they get their act together", which the president calls "unlikely".

It wasn't the first time Trump has threatened to withhold funding from California, saying the state's disastrous string of wildfires the past two years are largely the result of environmental regulations preventing proper forest management.

Trump has repeatedly blamed California officials for failing to manage the state's forests, but numerous areas affected by fire are not forests at all. "The people of CA - folks in Paradise", a community that was among the hardest hit by the Camp Fire past year, "should not be victims to partisan bickering". The Woolsey fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties left three dead and levelled about 1500 structures. "We can't control the climate". The order directs the Interior Department and the Department of Agriculture to identify ways to reduce "regulatory barriers" to better manage forests and get rid of hazardous fuels, and it calls for "treating" 4.25 million federal acres - an area larger than CT - to cut fuel loads. Another 40 percent is held by companies, Native American tribes or families.

FEMA did not immediately have a comment for the record when asked by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Trump Reportedly Trying to End Shutdown Without Looking Weak
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) felt that Trump's willingness to compromise on the walls material could mean he was ready to negotiate. Two days after Trump's speech, he plans to visit the southern border, the White House announced earlier in the week.

FEMA, which provides grants for home repairs or rental assistance after disasters, said it could not respond to queries about Trump's order due to the partial government shutdown, and it was not clear whether there would be any immediate impact.

However, Fugate said that federal law gives Trump the authority to determine whether to issue disaster declarations for future wildfires. Trump toured the fire devastation with Newsom. The president claims that the state is not properly managing their land, unlike Finland, where they rake the forest floor-at least according to Trump. "I would under no circumstances say that Cal Fire and the state of California are neglecting this", he said, referring to the state fire agency.

It's unclear what prompted Trump's tweet, but if one were to take a guess, it might have to do with the fact that California governor Gavin Newsom is blasting Trump for the address he gave last night on border security.

"Disasters and recovery are no time for politics", Newsom added in a subsequent tweet.

"The President has seen first-hand our fire-ravaged areas in Northern California", he said. "Attacking victims is yet another low for this president".

Comments