Standing in the charred husk of Paradise, California on Saturday, surveying damage from the historic “Camp Fire,” President Donald Trump added insult to injury yet again by indirectly finding fault with California’s forest management.
“You’ve gotta take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest, very important,” Trump said, flanked by the current and future governors of California. “You look at other countries where they do it differently and it’s a whole different story.”
He added: “I was with the President of Finland and he called it a forest nation, and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem, and when it is, it’s a very small problem.”
Standing in the charred husk of Paradise, California, Trump commends Finland's practice of "raking and cleaning." pic.twitter.com/QaLY8VSxKm
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) November 17, 2018
Dozens of people have died as a result of the Camp Fire and more than 1,000 are missing or unaccounted for. Scientists disagree that poor forest management is primarily to blame for the fire’s immense cost in human life and property, as opposed to a combination of factors including climate change and an uptick in population density near fire-prone areas.
The federal government, for what it’s worth, manages much more of California’s land than the state itself; according to the Redding Record Searchlight, the Camp Fire “started either on or very close to the national forest before spreading to private property to the west.”
According to a pool report Saturday, Trump said “no,” when asked if the extensive fire damage in the state had changed his mind about global warming.
It’s not the first time the President has criticized California as the deadliest fire in its history rages on.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
On Saturday morning, before flying out to California, Trump faulted the state yet again, saying: “We will be talking about forest management. I’ve been saying that for a long time. It should have been a lot different situation.”
And in an interview taped Friday to be aired on Fox News Sunday, Trump claimed that “you wouldn’t have the fire” if the work of raking certain dry vegetation had been done ahead of time.