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Trump to stop federal relief aid for California wildfires

10 January 2019
Trump to stop federal relief aid for California wildfires

Donald Trump is threatening to cut off federal money to aid California's deadly wildfires, claiming the money is being wasted.

"Although I share the President's great frustration with California's choking regulations from the stranglehold environmental groups have on the state, as well as the inaction on federal lands up until this Administration, the immediate problem for fire victims is the first need, and threats to FEMA funding are not helpful and will not solve the longer term forest management regulatory problems".

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen", Mr. Trump wrote.

The tweet states that the president has ordered FEMA to stop sending money "unless they get their act together", which the president calls "unlikely". "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

November's Camp fire, which obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise, killed 86 people and destroyed more than 13,900 homes.

In November, the president blamed poor forest management for the wildfires that wreaked havoc across the state.

Trump's threat to withhold FEMA funds from recent wildfire survivors drew a swift rebuke from California Sen. "I mean, we had the (most destructive) wildfire in California history".

More than half of California's forests are managed by the federal government, and the letter noted the U.S. Forest Service's budget has steadily decreased since 2016.

The president's latest statement came a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised him for his quick response to the Camp Fire catastrophe.

Trump's tweet today comes as he faces heat over the ongoing government shutdown, in which FEMA is partially affected.

"We have been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives", Newsom tweeted.

However, Fugate said that federal law gives Trump the authority to determine whether to issue disaster declarations for future wildfires.

Q: What has Trump done to promote forest management in California?

As is always the possible case, White House social media director Dan Scavino, who sometimes tweets from Trump, could have shared the now deleted language containing the spelling error.

In a tweet, Trump accused the state of failing to properly manage its forests.