President Trump on Wednesday angrily vowed to cut aid to California wildfire victims, accusing the state of lacking proper forest management.
In an early-morning tweet, Trump said that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “send no more money” unless California officials “get their act together, which is unlikely.”
The threat comes despite the president’s tour of the areas devastated by the Camp and Woolsey wildfires last month. Ironically FEMA is currently without funding amid the partial government shutdown over Trump’s demand for money to build a border barrier.
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
The Camp Fire in Northern California was the world’s costliest natural disaster in 2018, with the Munich Re reinsurance firm estimating the total at $16.5 billion. The deadly wildfire also claimed 86 lives.
The 97,000-acre Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties killed three and destroyed 1,643 structures. Munich Re ranked it as the world’s fifth costliest disaster in 2018 at $5.2 billion.
California’s senators blasted Trumps’ tweet as both playing politics and being disrespectful to the memory of those who died in the two wildfires.
“Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in our state’s history last year. We should work together to mitigate these fires by combating climate change, not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster,” said Sen. Kamala Harris.
“The Camp Fire killed 86 people, destroyed 14,000 homes & burned 150,000 acres. It’s absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to the victims,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Trump has said before that poor forest management, not climate change, was the cause of the California disasters.
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