Trump Orders FEMA To Cut Off Aid For California Wildfire Recovery

Trump Orders FEMA To Cut Off Aid For California Wildfire Recovery

The president approved a federal disaster declaration after the fire, but not before criticizing forest management and threatening to cut off federal payments to California.

President Donald Trump said that unless California improved its forest management, he would order the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to "send no more money" to the state.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen", Trump wrote on Twitter, a day after western governors asked for greater federal investment in fire prevention. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" the president said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" he tweeted during the Camp Fire, which killed 86 people, burned 153,000 acres of land and destroyed almost 14,000 homes.

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.

Trump's threat to withhold FEMA funds from recent wildfire survivors drew a swift rebuke from California Sen. "The people of CA ― folks in Paradise ― should not be victims to partisan bickering".

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Trump's tweet came a day after Newsom and Govs.

FEMA has disbursed almost $56 million to Camp Fire survivors and has been working with state officials on plans to remove debris from Paradise, which was virtually destroyed by the fire. Newsom said they had "been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives". He doesn't have the power to unilaterally cancel federal funding for a particular agency's activities in a particular state. "It's absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to communities destroyed by wildfire", Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

Q: Has a president ever threatened to cut off FEMA funding to a state before?

Trump's charge that California has failed to properly manage its forests is inaccurate, Fugate added. That included stops in Southern California to view areas affected by the Woosley Fire, and a visit to the northern part of the state, where the Camp Fire devastated the community of Paradise.

Trump also at one point linked imports of Canadian lumber to the deadly California wildfires, which forced thousands to flee from their homes.

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