President Trump apparently thinks that California’s wildfires are the fault of the state because it refuses to ‘clean up’ old dried-out trees.
As The Hill reports, Trump made the comments during a recent Cabinet meeting at the White House while discussing the Forest Service’s effort to prevent wildfires.
“California’s a mess. We’re giving billions and billions of dollars for forest fires in California,” Trump said, adding that California is intentionally keeping its forests “dirty.”
“Old trees are sitting there, rotting and drying,” he continued. “And instead of cleaning it up, they don’t touch them, they leave them. And we end up with these massive fires that we’re paying hundreds of billions of dollars for to fix, and the destruction is incredible.”
According to Trump, California’s history of massive wildfires is simply a case of mismanagement.
“I think California ought to get their act together and clean up their forests and manage their forests,” Trump said.
“It’s costing our country hundreds of billions of dollars because of incompetence in California. It’s hurting our budget, it’s hurting our country. And they just better get their act together.”
The past year has been devastating for the state in the fight against wildfires, costing it almost $800 million in resources. According to The Hill, that figure is three-times larger than funds spent just five years ago.
Trump echoed a similar sentiment in a tweet from August, where he claimed that the wildfires are being “magnified” by the state’s environmental laws.
“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,” Trump wrote in a now-deleted tweeted. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!”
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