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Trump threatens to cut off funds for California wildfire relief

10 January 2019

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". The Mendocino Complex fire, the largest wildfire in the state's recorded history, burned more than 450,000 acres north of Santa Rosa in July.

The threat comes one day after California governor Gavin Newsom attacked Trump for his oval office address on the southern border calling on the president to end the government shutdown.

"FEMA is actively contacting California Wildfire survivors to determine their housing needs and working diligently to identify additional short-term and long-term housing options", a message on FEMA's homepage said hours after Trump posted his tweet.

President Donald Trump revived his criticism of California on Wednesday, insisting again the state has mismanaged forest management programs and allowed wildfires to rage.

During an August cabinet meeting, Trump and other officials downplayed the role of climate change on wildfires, while discussing the abundance of fallen trees creating a natural accelerant.

Fortune reached out to FEMA for comment Wednesday.

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".

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The Camp Fire in Northern California was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history, killing at least 85 people and displacing thousands more.

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia, Calif., Nov. 9, 2018.

California was devastated by a series of rapidly moving fires late past year.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) declared that Trump's tweet "deserves a 5-star award for idiocy".

The California governor joined those of OR and Washington in asking the White House for more federal funding and assistance with forest management. She called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also of California, to join her to "condemn & call on POTUS to reassure millions in CA that our govt will be there for them in their time of need".

Trump at the same time appeared concerned for California residents in the path of the fires' wrath and unconcerned that cutting off the FEMA aide might put more people at risk of injury, death or losing their homes. The utility said it's doing all it can to reduce wildfire risks. "We lost 13,000 structures".

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage.

Trump threatens to cut off funds for California wildfire relief