Trump threatens to axe emergency fire aid for California

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 10, 2018 Flames from the Camp fire burn near a home atop a ridge near Big Bend, California. – The so-called Camp Fire broke out in early November 2018, in Butte County, killing at least 86 people and burning 14,000 homes in the tree-blanketed Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California. Insurance claims have already topped $7 billion, and officials estimate it will cost at least $3 billion just to clear the charred debris of homes and businesses. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP)

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is cutting emergency federal aid sent to help California after devastating wildfires unless the Democratic-led state gets its “act together.”

“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen,” Trump tweeted, initially misspelling the word forest before repeating the tweet with the word corrected.

“Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!” he said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The warning extends Trump’s feud with California authorities over responsibility for a recent series of deadly fires including the Camp Fire in November, which killed more than 80 people — the worst fire in state history.

Where Trump focused on poor forest management, Democrats in California said changing climate patterns also had played a major role.

It was unclear whether Trump had already ordered a withholding of FEMA funds or how that would work in practice.

© Agence France-Presse