President Donald Trump seemed to blame “bad environmental laws” for raging wildfires in California and called for the cutting down of trees to help stop the spread of the blazes.
The president tweeted Sunday that the state’s water and forest management regulations have made the wildfires “so much worse.”
“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,” Trump tweeted. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!”
California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
Raging wildfires in the state have left several people dead in their wake as well as the destruction of homes and businesses. Seventeen major fires are burning in the state, killing eight people — including four firefighters— and causing the closing of Yosemite National Park, according to Fox News.
Some reports have pointed to an increase in vegetation for providing more fuel for the fires as some questioned what prompted Trump’s tweet which came after California Governor Jerry Brown called on the president for help.
“President Trump appears to be referring to endangered species protections, which mandate availability of water for some species,” according to Axios science editor Andrew Freedman “However, firefighters haven’t complained about lack of water for firefighting, but rather, the extreme nature of these fires.”
.@Ginger_Zee is tracking dangerous heat on both coasts as the state of California works to contain one of the largest wildfires in its history. https://t.co/qLyAHiLOfP pic.twitter.com/mYYUjZe6bk
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 6, 2018
California’s Democrat governor has vocally blasted the president over pollution and immigration policies but is hopeful they can put their differences aside to deal with the disaster.
“The president has been pretty good on helping us in disasters, so I’m hopeful,” Brown said, according to Fox News. “Tragedies bring people together.”
The president approved the disaster declaration according to the White House on Sunday.
Rep. Devin Nunes thanked Trump for pointing out the state’s “flawed environmental policies,” in a responding tweet.
Thx @realDonaldTrump for bringing much needed attention to our flawed environmental policies! Forests should be managed properly and water should be allowed for farmers to grow food to feed people. Thx for supporting the people of San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains! https://t.co/HmyWNnJ4ef
— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) August 6, 2018
Trump’s contention that “readily available water” is not being used was questioned by some.
Trying to unpack President @realDonaldTrump ‘s tweet on California wildfires… and just to be 100% certain I checked with CAL FIRE about “readily available water.” Per CAL FIRE: “No there has been no water supply issues for fighting the fires.”
— Wilson Walker (@WilsonKPIX) August 6, 2018
A spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection responded to whether there was a shortage of water for firefighters at the Carr and Mendocino Complex fires.
“Not that I’m aware of … but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” Lynette Round replied, according to San Francisco Chronicle.
The Mendocino Complex fire, which borders part of Mendocino National Forest, has grown to 357 square miles and is 32 percent contained, according to Cal Fire, Fox News reported. Some of the largest wildfires are burning north of San Francisco.
While the president did not mention the California firefighters in his tweet Sunday, a viral video that recently surfaced shows his gratitude to members of law enforcement and the hardworking firefighters.
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