Trump Orders FEMA To Withhold Funds For California Forest Fires In Misspelled Tweet
President Donald Trump is fuming over his failed attempt to get support for his border wall and he’s now taking his anger against California.
Trump said Wednesday that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to withhold funding for California unless the state improves its forest management to prevent wildfires.
“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) Management, would never happen,” Trump tweeted.
“Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money,” Trump added, calling it a “disgraceful situation in lives & money.”
He later retweeted the statement with “forest” correctly spelled.
Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Local officials and fire experts, meanwhile, have criticized Trump for ignoring the impact that climate change is having on the length and severity of fires — and denying climate change science — while giving too much credit to forest management.
California passed a comprehensive law last year aimed at wildfires. Among other changes, it puts new resources into clearing out brush, dead trees and other biomass that contributes to fires.
A majority of forest land in the state, however, is owned by the federal government.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), meanwhile, tweeted that federal policymakers “should work together to mitigate these fires by combating climate change, not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster.”
FEMA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which FEMA is a part.