As two huge wildfires race across California, killing at least 25 and displacing tens of thousands of residents, President Trump blamed poor forest management for the blazes and threatened to cut off federal funding if state officials don’t fix the recurring problem.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump wrote on Twitter while in Paris for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“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!”
And Trump had more to say on the matter.
“With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!”
But Trump also praised firefighters and issued a warning to all people in the path of the fires.
“More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres. Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all,” Trump wrote.
“These California fires are expanding very, very quickly (in some cases 80-100 acres a minute). If people don’t evacuate quickly, they risk being overtaken by the fire. Please listen to evacuation orders from State and local officials!”
The entire town of Paradise, about 120 miles north of Sacramento, was destroyed in the so-called Camp Fire, killing at least 23. More than 100 are still missing in the fire, which currently covers 164 square miles, the Associated Press reported.
“Two people were also found dead in a wildfire in Southern California , bringing the total number of fatalities statewide to 25 as the fires tore through Malibu mansions and working-class suburban homes. State officials put the total number of people forced from their homes statewide at more than 200,000. Evacuations included the city of Malibu, home to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars,” the AP reported.
That blaze, called the Woolsey Fire, has destroyed at least 150 homes and has already torched more than 100 square miles. Firefighters say the blaze is only 5% contained.