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

09 January 2019

President Trump said Wednesday that he ordered a halt on federal emergency funding to California to fight wildfires - claiming the money is being wasted amid mismanagement.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen", he tweeted. The state's former top firefighter Ken Pimlott disagrees, saying last month that California leads the nation in clearing away dead trees and thinning areas to remove fuel for fires. I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

State officials have pointed to a variety of factors including some of the hottest years on record amid global warming trends.

The staff at Cal Fire has stopped thinking in terms of a fire season, which traditionally ran from around June until late October, and are now on alert for destructive wildfires all year round.

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Steve Reaves, president of FEMA's union, appeared alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at a press conference Wednesday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, called the tweet an "empty threat" and said it "isn't worth the time of day". Kamala Harris, took on Trump.

Days after the Camp Fire began burning, Trump threatened to withhold federal payments to California, accusing the Golden State of "poor" forest management. It is considered the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.

A day earlier, Trump visited the scorched remains of Paradise, a city of 27,000 that was mostly destroyed by a wildfire that killed at least 86 people and leveled more than 10,000 homes.

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State officials and local firefighters have accused Trump of not understanding the issues involved in fighting fires, adding that climate change has worsened the impact of the natural disasters.

Trump said the Finns do 'a lot of time on raking and cleaning.' After Trump's claim, Finland's President Sauli Niinisto said he did speak to Trump in Paris, but had no recollection of telling him about Finnish raking practices.

The California governor joined those of OR and Washington in asking the White House for more federal funding and assistance with forest management.

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