Trump Orders FEMA To Cut Off Aid For California Wildfire Recovery

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

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor", Trump tweeted.

"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money", the president declared.

"It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!", the tweet says.

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

U.S. President Donald Trump visits the charred wreckage of Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (L), FEMA head Brock Long (R), Paradise Mayor Jody Jones (2nd R) and Governor Jerry Brown in Paradise, California, U.S., November 17, 2018. Newsom said they had "been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives".

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


The House Republican minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy also is from California.

This tweet came hours after Newsom posted this message about the need to prepare for natural disasters. "I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses".

Wildfire survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties had been eligible for federal funds.

On Tuesday, Newsom proposed US$305 million (NZ$448 million) to remove thousands of acres of forests and brush, expand emergency crews and modernise California's 911 systems. Many California wildfires are in non-forested areas. However, this is not the first time he's threatened to pull funding from California over the fires, during one of the deadliest seasons on record.

The 2018 wildfire season in California was the worst in living memory, consuming almost 2 million acres of land, killing 87 people, destroying tens of thousands of homes, requiring an estimated $3 billion in public expenditures for debris removal, and costing insurance companies over $9 billion in payments.

Writing on Twitter, Pelosi blasted Trump, saying his "threat insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires previous year & thousands more who lost their homes".

  • Tracy Klein