WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold Federal Emergency Management Agency money to help California cope with wildfires if the state doesn’t improve its forest management practices.
However, local and state Republicans in California pushed back hard against the president’s threat.
Assemblyman James Gallagher and state Sen. Jim Nielsen issued a joint statement saying that “a Twitter war … will not solve the problem.”
— James Gallagher (@J_GallagherAD3) January 9, 2019
Trump tweeted Wednesday that California gets billions of dollars for fires that could have been prevented with better management. The state’s former top firefighter Ken Pimlott disagrees, saying last month that California leads the nation in clearing away dead trees and thinning areas to remove fuel for fires.
Trump tweeted that “unless they get their act together … I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”
November’s fire in the northern California town of Paradise was the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, killing at least 85 people and destroying nearly 14,000 homes.
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
Steve Crowder, a town councilman and a Republican from Paradise, which was leveled by the Camp Fire, said that Trump was trying to use California’s devastating wildfires as a “political pawn.”
Paradise Town Councilman Steven Crowder, a Republican, said of the president’s tweet, “I don’t think this is an incident that politics needs to play a part in and I’m very disappointed at anybody that would use this as a political pawn.”https://t.co/MaTXD8tnBX
— Sarah D. Wire (@sarahdwire) January 9, 2019