Trump blaming forest mismanagement for California fires

Friday 16 Nov 2018

Two monster wildfires in California, including the most destructive in state history, have been burning out of control destroying scores of buildings and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. The number of people killed in the wildfires had risen to 50 – mid-week including 48 from Northern California's Camp Fire, already the most destructive and deadly blaze in state history.

In Paradise, which had about 27,000 residents, the fire destroyed most homes and half the businesses, the town's mayor Jody Jones said on CNN, describing a long period of recovery ahead.

President Donald Trump, weighing in on the emergency during a trip to France, said that "gross mismanagement of forests" was to blame. "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor," he wrote in a Twitter post.

"Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" he added.

Trump, a Republican, has previously blamed California officials for fires and threatened to withhold funding, saying the state should do more to remove rotten trees and other debris that fuel blazes. Officials in the state have countered that climate change is the main culprit and have pointed out that many of the burn areas have been in federally-managed lands.

"Our focus is on the Californians impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to save lives and property — not on the President's inane and uninformed tweets," Evan Westrub, a spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown said in an email.

Source: cnbc

Further comment and reaction can be read here and here.

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