Trump threatens to stop federal aid for California wildfires

Saul Bowman
January 10, 2019

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) Management, would never happen", he wrote in a since-deleted post to Twitter. Many California wildfires are in non-forested areas. Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.

President Donald Trump told FEMA not to send more disaster funding to fire-ravaged California "unless they get their act together, which is unlikely".

During that trip, the president also blamed "poor forest management" for the severity of the fires. FEMA did not immediately have a comment for the record when asked by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

"The people of CA - folks in Paradise - should not be victims to partisan bickering", Newsom stated saying he's ready to take action on modernizing forest and emergency responses. The November Camp fire became the nation's deadliest forest fire in a century, killing at least 85 people and destroying most of the city of Paradise.

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly fires in California", he tweeted. Trump toured the fire devastation with Newsom.

Trump's tweet came a day after Newsom and Govs.

After his November tirade aimed at California, Trump quickly relented and signed the requisite disaster declarations allowing FEMA and other federal agencies to deal with the wildfires and their aftermath.


The House Republican minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy also is from California.

It's unclear whether Trump has already cut the funds or is simply threatening to do so.

"We are at a point where everybody's had enough and we need to, I think, make sure we are prepared more than ever for the next few months as we enter into the height of our fire season", Newsom said at a press conference with California's Office of Emergency Services officials. He has said he'll hold back federal dollars for fire disasters before, but has not executed on that threat.

Crowder added, "I'm sure I'm not alone - we lost our home, we lost our business, we lost our community - and I don't think that anybody that's been through that would be too supportive of that tweet".

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage.

More than half of California's forests are managed by the federal government, and the letter noted the U.S. Forest Service's budget has steadily decreased since 2016. The House, newly under Democrats' control, is planning to vote on a package as soon as next week.

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