Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump cuts off federal funds to California to fight 'Forrest fires'

Trump cuts off federal funds to California to fight 'Forrest fires'

President Donald Trump Tuesday tweeted a threat to cut off funding to help victims of California wildfires.

President Donald Trump threatened to cut federal forest fire aid to California as the state recovers from the country's deadliest wildfire in a century.

Misspelling the word "forest" twice in the same tweet, Trump wrote: "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest [sic] fires that, with proper Forrest [sic] Management, would never happen".

"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money", the president declared. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives and money!"

November's Camp fire, which obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise, killed 86 people and destroyed more than 13,900 homes.

Trump's idea was blasted by Democrats as a callous, empty threat and even California Republicans released statements saying it was the wrong approach to the problem of forest management.

Trump's threat to withhold FEMA funds from recent wildfire survivors drew a swift rebuke from California Sen.

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California plans to spend $1 billion on forest management over the next five years, the letter said, and has spent $111.3 million since 2017, just under half on federal lands.

The state has requested an additional $9 billion from the federal government for wildfire relief, but it's unclear how much of that money would go through FEMA.

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

"The state owns three percent of the forests in California", Merkley noted.

The Camp Fire in California a year ago was the costliest natural disaster anywhere in the world in 2018, with a total cost $16.5 billion, according to a report this week by the reinsurance company Munich RE. He has also said that the Finnish president told him that Finland did not have forest fires because its citizens spent time raking the forest floor, although the Finnish president denied ever talking to Mr. Trump about raking.

Trump's tweet today comes as he faces heat over the ongoing government shutdown, in which FEMA is partially affected.

The president long has criticized California state officials, sometimes with dubious claims, over wildfires there and their steps to prevent and nix them.

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