President Orders End to FEMA Money for California Wildfire Recovery


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. Experts have said this could help fires burn more slowly, but critics have noted that the federal government managed numerous state's forests and that Trump has sought to slash budgets of Department of Interior and U.S. Forest Service programs that are tasked with carrying out such activities.

There was no further information on the veracity of Trump's Twitter claim.

A spokesman for FEMA, whose operations are affected by the government shutdown, had no immediate comment.

Fire control is not Trump's only grievance with the Golden State, which voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Newsom in November.

Incoming California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) responded to the president's tweet, saying he and the governors of Washington and OR had just sent a letter on Tuesday, requesting the federal government's assistance in battling wildfires in the western states.

Both of California's Democratic senators weighed in to lambaste the president. November's Camp fire ― the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history - engulfed more than 153,000 acres, destroyed almost 19,000 structures and killed at least 86 people. "It's absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to communities destroyed by wildfire", Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

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

The president's tweet follows a fire season where the California town of Paradise was virtually wiped off the map, and homeowners and residents are lookgin to rebuild.

"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", he said. 'Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in our state's history past year. But he tweeted he thinks that is "unlikely".

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. And the federal government owns far more California land than the state government at which Trump keeps spitting contempt and threats.