Trump threatens to halt emergency fire aid for California

Trump threatens to halt emergency fire aid for California

Trump threatens to halt emergency fire aid for California

When the fires broke out, Trump blamed California's poor forest management and threatened to withhold federal funding if the state didn't change its practices.

Donald Trump appears to be fed up with the California forest fires that made 2018 the most deadly and destructive wildfire season in the state's history, as now he's chose to double down on his claims that the disaster is due to mismanagement.

The President has since deleted the original tweet and reposted it with the proper spelling of "forest" - removing what Twitter users couldn't resist teasing was a reference to iconic 1994 Oscar-winning film starring Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

California Democrats were quick to rebuke Trump, who previously suggested that the state could avoid deadly wildfires by raking the forest floors.

KCAL-TV reported that FEMA has already approved more than $48.7 million in funds to 6,646 applicants affected by the Camp and Woolsey Fires that devastated the state previous year.

FEMA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. President Donald Trump visits the charred wreckage of Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (L), FEMA head Brock Long (R), Paradise Mayor Jody Jones (2nd R) and Governor Jerry Brown in Paradise, California, U.S., November 17, 2018. We have been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives. If Trump chose not to issue such declarations, it would prevent FEMA from providing financial assistance to state and local authorities, as well as victims of those fires. The utility said it's doing all it can to reduce wildfire risks.

Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, said in November: "We're in extreme climate change now".

California faced its deadliest wildfire season this past year, with the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire destroying thousands of homes and burning through hundreds of thousands of acres.

Paradise Town Councilman Steven Crowder, a Republican, hadn't seen the president's tweet on Wednesday morning, but called it "disturbing". Newsom asked for $105 million to improve wildfire safety on Tuesday.

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage.

In a tweet, Harris noted that Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in the state's history past year. Their request was not considered previous year and the new Congress has not taken up a disaster aid package.

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