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Donald Trump in Pennsylvania on August 20, 2020. (Photo: Youtube)

President Trump Criticizes California Officials Response To Wildfires

President hints at cutting federal wildfire funding

By Evan Symon, August 21, 2020 2:27 am

On Thursday, President Donald Trump criticized California officials over the high number of destructive forest fires across the state, while also threatening to withhold federal assistance against the fires.

President Trump targets California officials in speech

During a speech in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, President Trump blamed failed state policies and a statewide focus on the environment over forest upkeep. His remarks came less than 48 hours after Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California over the wildfire spread.

“I see again the forest fires are starting,” said Trump on Thursday. “They’re starting again in California. I said, you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests. There are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they’re like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up.”

“I’ve been telling them this now for three years, but they don’t want to listen. ‘The environment, the environment,’ but they have massive fires again.”

“Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us.”

Critics have responded that “forest cleaning” is actually more strategic and complicated than simple brush cutting and that many of the fires have actually been occurring on federal land as opposed to California administered areas.

“You just can’t say ‘clean you forests’,” explained Luis Reyes, a volunteer firefighter in Los Angeles County who has helped areas prepare for potential wildfires, to the Globe. “We need to identify problem areas, like dry tinder near power lines or large swaths of dry grass. We need to monitor which areas are going through droughts, what temperatures are, and many other factors. A broad sweep doesn’t do much good.”

“And you can’t really blame California. It’s our climate that causes this, along with many other places out West, and the recent heat wave has only made more fires pop up. Plus look at where all the fires are at. It’s largely on federal land. The biggest one outside of LA is in the Angeles National Forest. Federal agencies tend to fight them the most too.”

“I’m not saying California is great at fighting wildfires, as there is much room for improvement, but this is like getting mad at Florida over doing their best during hurricane season or Oklahoma after huge tornadoes. These are disasters and we need help, not making it into a political issue.”

A federal and state need in California – “Wildfires don’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries”

Gavin Newsom
Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

State agencies have routinely praised the federal response to fighting wildfires, with Governor Newsom even announcing a new partnership with the U.S. Forest Service last week over wildfire mitigation.

“Wildfires don’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries. As we respond to wildfires in real-time this summer, improving coordination between the major stewards of California’s forested land will help us protect communities and restore forest health across California,” said Newsom last week.

However, Trump supporters and some fire experts have defended the president’s speech on Thursday, noting that he is helping look for alternate methods of fighting wildfires.

“I know how many people feel about the President, but it doesn’t mean that his ideas on wildfire prevention are bad,” added wildfire fighter Nathan Lacoma in a Globe interview. “Before we take away some funding, we should look into whether or not his forest floor clearing plan could work in problem spots, or see how similar systems have worked elsewhere, or see if it helps stop spread or power outages.”

“I’ve seen how bad up close these fires can get. If there are other ways of prevention we should at least give them a shot.”

“California’s misguided forest management practices included several decades of successful fire suppression, combined with a failure to remove all the undergrowth that results when natural fires aren’t allowed to burn, the Globe reported last fall in “Long-Term Solutions for California Wildfire Prevention.”

More remarks on the wildfires in California by the President are expected in the coming days as the wildfires become a more prominent national issue.

Evan Symon
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7 thoughts on “President Trump Criticizes California Officials Response To Wildfires

  1. The US Forest Service has told the fire dept to stand down on the Lake Hughes fire. The forest service declared they will just let the fire burn since no structures are threatened. All the residence in the area will live under a cloud of smoke and ash until the fire extinguishes itself. Could be days. Could be weeks. Since no one in this state ever seems to do the right thing for the right reasons, I am suspicious of their reasons and tend to think it has more to do with trying to make the people sick, develop COVID like coughing symptoms, so the criminal cabal can keep their numbers up & keep us locked down. Maybe someone can reach out to the LA County fire, Station #76 see what their marching orders are.

  2. I remember all the talk about clearing forests (and there are a lot of them that need clearing ) and seeing some pictures of men doing this —but what has happened ? There is no more news about this-so what happened? Why have they stopped? Newsome does only what he -a very selfish individual- wants–and it is certainly not what is good for residents of CA. These forests are burning because not much was done to clear them- The ASSembly does nothing either about what CA citizens want. Yes, people are still leaving this corrupt -state run by scammers and criminals.

  3. I believe that California is doing this on purpose. They do not care if the rural communities are burned out. They are mostly conservatives. I also believe that the planes spraying chemtrails in the skies daily are to blame. They spray chemical accelerants that land on the summer grasses. This combines with the cloud seeding to produce humidity and thunderheads which produce lightening. Remember when Sacramento was “a dry heat”? Not anymore. All of these things are documented. Call me crazy but a year ago did anyone think we would be living through what we are now? Is it any coincidence that these fires are happening in Australia also? Or that these draconian lockdowns are occurring all over the world?

  4. Fuel reduction is the only way to get the fire danger under control which all honest firefighters will tell you. Trump is 100% right as usual. California does impact the federal response as the feds must get California permits to do control burns. I know this for a fact as I talk to the local US Forest service people. Even in the national parks the feds are subject to California regulations.

  5. Years of investing in coastal areas embracing expensive retro’s and enviro theoretics while interior and northern areas haven’t received a infrastructure dime….Alas…..it is what it is..

  6. we have been fighting forest fires and wildfires the wrong way, we have not changed our way of fighting fires for 50—60– years or more. i know because i used to fight fires in california, and washington myself. the way to fight most fires is first get the military, air force, army, marines, navy, national guard, to drop bombs, laser guided or any other way of dropping explosives at the front of the fire, driving dirt back into the fire. this also stops oxygen, which the fire needs to burn. when this is done you come in with 40, 50, 60, or more helecopters dropping water. this will get the fire out in no time. you say we can not afford all these helecopters well build 5 or 10 a year. till have a 100 or more.the same for the east coast.. these can also be used for fires in the mid west and parts of the country in that location.,, you need to keep all the leaves on the ground they will rot and turn into fertilizer that all trees and plants need to survive . it also helps all the little animals ,to hide in and for food, also when planting trees, i see that all trees are harvested, but only fir and pine needle trees are replanted. to leafy trees such as oak, maple,and all the other leafy trees, the animals need these trees to hide in and for their homes, also to find things to eat,, they can not do this with pine needle trees, so when replanting trees, for every 100 trees planted there should be one of each leafy tree planted. then the animals and birds will have homes and things to eat. remember bomb first, water second. lots of it.

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