Trump threatens to halt emergency fire aid for California

Trump threatens to halt emergency fire aid for California

U.S. 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.

Misspelling the word "forest" twice in the same tweet, Trump wrote: "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest [sic] fires that, with proper Forrest [sic] Management, would never happen".

"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money", Trump said, adding that it was a "disgraceful situation".

Likely recognizing his spelling errors, Trump quickly deleted the tweet and re-uploaded another with the correct spelling.

The latest announcement drew an immediate response from the state's new governor.

However, Newsom also took aim at Trump in his inauguration speech, saying he wanted to "offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House".

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), who represents a district whose residents have been greatly harmed by this year's wildfires, has now issued a statement knocking the president for his declaration that FEMA money should no longer be used to help people whose houses have been burned down by a natural disaster.

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Wildfire survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties had been eligible for federal funds. "We can't control the climate". However, this is not the first time he's threatened to pull funding from California over the fires, during one of the deadliest seasons on record. Another 40 percent is held by companies, Native American tribes or families.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency falls under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, which has been left unfunded by the ongoing partial government shutdown.

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor".

FEMA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The utility said it's doing all it can to reduce wildfire risks.

Trump started this fire and he'll have to figure out some way to put it out that doesn't just look like a nasty jab at the nation's largest state.

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage. "I would under no circumstances say that Cal Fire and the state of California are neglecting this", he said, referring to the state fire agency. "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests". "Attacking victims is yet another low for this president".

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