President Trump says he’s cutting off FEMA funding to California over fires

With the confirmed death toll at 71 and the list of unaccounted for people more than 1,000 authorities in Northern California on Friday searched for those who perished and those who survived the fiercest of wildfires ahead of a planned visit by President

A firefighter searches for human remains in a trailer park destroyed in the Camp Fire on Nov. 16 2018 in Paradise Calif. | AP

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. But he tweeted he thinks that is "unlikely".

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen", Mr. Trump wrote. I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. He has also said that the Finnish president told him that Finland did not have forest fires because its citizens spent time raking the forest floor, although the Finnish president denied ever talking to Mr. Trump about raking. FEMA did not immediately have a comment for the record when asked by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

New California governor Gavin Newsom responded to Trump's tweet, saying politicians shouldn't be playing games with lives.

Over two consecutive days, the president took to Twitter to contend the state's then-Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown described as a "big, big win" for California. Newsom attacked Trump's Tuesday night televised speech for border wall funding as "governing by fear and division".

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been puzzled by the claims from the president. "Even if we eliminated all habitat for riparian species and fish, and allowed saltwater intrusion into the delta and set up a sprinkler system over the state, that wouldn't compensate for greater moisture loss from climate change". "I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses".

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"The President has seen first-hand our fire-ravaged areas in Northern California", LaMalfa added.

Trump has threatened to pull federal funding before such as in November when he said "gross mismanagement" by California for a series of deadly wildfires, including one that destroyed the town of Paradise.

The recent large California wildfires continue to make headlines. On other occasions Trump has adopted a right-wing conspiracy theory blaming California wildfires on state water policies he pretty clearly does not understand.

The natural disaster was the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California history, leaving an overall damage cost of $23 billion, according to German insurance company Munich Re.

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