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Trump to stop federal relief aid for California wildfires

10 January 2019

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen", Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, local time. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

During a November tour of the wreckage of the Camp Fire, the deadliest in California history, Trump blamed what he called poor forest management for the fire, and threatened to end FEMA funding.

Newsom signed two executive orders aimed at beefing up California's emergency response to natural disasters, like wildfires, which he framed as preparing the state for the impacts of climate change. That means there is little to no work being done to manage forests while the government is closed, except responding to immediate safety issues.

Last April, Trump falsely stated that the California government is diverting river water into the Pacific Ocean that could be used to fight forest fires, but he also signaled he will fast-track federal help.

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"We are at a point where everybody's had enough and we need to, I think, make sure we are prepared more than ever for the next few months as we enter into the height of our fire season", Newsom said at a press conference with California's Office of Emergency Services officials.

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.

The House Republican minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy also is from California.

"Disasters and recovery are no time for politics".

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The White House did not respond to a request for comment on what specific actions Trump has taken, how they were legally justified and what if anything would be done to help people who are depending on FEMA for food or shelter in the wake of the wildfires. The Woolsey fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties left three dead and levelled about 1500 structures.

In a Tuesday event on wildfire safety, Newsom had praised Trump for always providing California with necessary disaster relief funds.

Destructive wildfires erupted all over California in 2018, including the massive Camp Fire in Northern California.

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage. "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests".

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Trump to stop federal relief aid for California wildfires