Trump Slams forest mis-management

Friday 8 Nov 2019

On Twitter Sunday morning, President Donald Trump attacked California Governor Gavin Newsom for "a terrible job of forest management" in the aftermath of wildfires--even though 57 percent of California's forests are reportedly managed by the federal government, and the state manages 2 percent.

In the Twitter thread, the president seems to blame Newsom's leadership for California's long history of wildfires, compared to other states. "Every year, as the fire's rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don't see close to the level of burn in other states," Trump wrote.

In response to the president, Newsom tweeted later: "You don't believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation." California's climate is the most variable in the continental United States, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Its annual "drought" or dry season––long associated with wildfire risk––lasts from late spring through early fall, irrespective of decision making by state leadership.

Last year, the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Montana discovered the intuitive but under-studied link between less rain and longer droughts to the severity of subsequent wildfires. The results were released as California's deadly Camp Fire claimed more than 80 lives and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.

Meanwhile, the powerful, dry winds that propelled this season's wildfire outbreak acted as a "an atmospheric hairdryer," according to one meterologist. The federal money Trump mentioned largely refers to the Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Newsom secured the funds for firefighters battling Ventura County's Maria Fire, one of the biggest and most recent fires of the bunch.

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Source:, Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
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