President blames forestry management
President Donald Trump blamed California again for its horrific wildfire season Wednesday and threatened to withhold federal fire assistance from the state.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Trump lashed out at California’s forestry management practices, saying they’re costing federal taxpayers “hundreds of billions of dollars.”
“Old trees are sitting there, rotting and drying,” he said, according to a report on The Hill. “And instead of cleaning it up, they don’t touch them, they leave them. And we end up with these massive fires that we’re paying hundreds of billions of dollars for to fix, and the destruction is incredible.”
State officials, however, said Trump is overlooking California’s ramped-up efforts to thin out its forests and reduce wildfire risk. Scott McLean, a spokesman for Cal Fire, said his agency has taken applications for more than $300 million worth of grants since August for forest-thinning projects. “Look at what we’re doing, look at the big picture,” he said.