Trump Orders FEMA to 'Send No More Money' for California Forest Fires


FEMA is also impacted by the ongoing partial government shutdown and, as Washington Post reporter Damian Paletta highlighted, doesn't have money to send to the state.

In his initial tweet, Trump spelled the word "forest" with two Rs, apparently not in reference to Forrest Gump.

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.

"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money", Trump wrote, adding: "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the president for his Wednesday tweet. And the federal government owns far more California land than the state government at which Trump keeps spitting contempt and threats. Cutting off the state entirely from assistance available to Trump-friendlier jurisdictions regardless of their "Forrest Management" policies, would certainly put California Republicans, including McCarthy, in a very tough spot.

Trump tweeted that "unless they get their act together ..."

A burned-out vehicle stands in Paradise California Nov. 15. Bloomberg
A burned-out vehicle stands in Paradise California Nov. 15. Bloomberg

November's Camp fire, which obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise, killed 86 people and destroyed more than 13,900 homes.

State officials have also dismissed Trump's accusations, saying that forest management is only one element of the problem and claiming also that symptoms of climate change like stronger winds and dryer weather could also contribute to the fires.

Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, said in November: "We're in extreme climate change now". Perhaps he simply means he won't issue any more disaster declarations for California wildfires, which is easy to say now but a bit of a reach when people are dying and homes are burning. FEMA has already spent at least $444 million in response to the 2018 wildfires in California, according to figures released by FEMA in December.

On Tuesday, Newsom proposed US$305 million (NZ$448 million) to remove thousands of acres of forests and brush, expand emergency crews and modernise California's 911 systems.

In a tweet, Trump accused the state of failing to properly manage its forests. The House, newly under Democrats' control, is planning to vote on a package as soon as next week.

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