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Trump threatens to stop federal aid for California wildfires
09 January 2019, 10:13 | Darnell Patrick
President Trump says he’s cutting off FEMA funding to California over fires
In a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump complained that "billions of dollars" are sent to California to combat forest fires, but claimed that with "proper Forest Management (sic)" the fires would "never happen".
'Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.
This is actually a revised tweet; the first version spelled Forest as "Forrest".
Trump has repeatedly blamed California officials for failing to manage the state's forests, but numerous areas affected by fire are not forests at all.
The latest announcement drew an immediate response from the state's new governor.
However, Newsom has been harshly critical of Mr. Trump since taking office this week. "The people of CA - folks in Paradise", a community that was among the hardest hit by the Camp Fire previous year, "should not be victims to partisan bickering". Experts noted the role of climate change in worsening fires in California.
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"Our climate is changing - we have to change with it". The state owns 3% of the forests in Cal. Another 40 percent is held by companies, Native American tribes or families. That includes the Camp Fire, which touched the Plumas National Forest; the Fork Fire, in the Angeles National Forest just east of Pasadena; and the Essex Fire in the Modoc National Forest in California's far northeast corner.
Critics on social media questioned whether Trump could legally withhold FEMA money that has already been appropriated. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" the president said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Republican congressman who represents the Camp Fire region, Doug LaMalfa, said he shares Trump's "great frustration with California's choking regulations" but pushed back on the president over the timing of his tweet.
Pelosi slammed Trump's latest threat, tweeting that it "insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires previous year".
The Northern California wildfire of 2018 killed at least 85 people and destroyed thousands of buildings across the state, obliterating the entire town of Paradise.
"The president not only has signed a presidential declaration giving California substantial funding, but he said and pledged very specifically to continue to help us - that he's got our back", Brown told CBS' "Face the Nation" on November 18. "Attacking victims is yet another low for this president". It says a lot about Trump's focus on the subject that he bothered to make a correction. Jerry Brown and Gov. -elect Gavin Newsom, during which he promised that the federal government would continue to support the state in the face of these deadly wildfires.
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