Trump Threatens Literal Scorched-Earth Policy to Punish California

Trump Orders FEMA to'Send No More Money for California Forest Fires

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who was sworn in this week, was quick to fire back at Trump, tweeting that disaster and recovery periods are "no time for politics" and claiming he was "already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses". "It is a disgraceful situation in lives and money!"

In a tweet Wednesday morning, the president said: "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. We can't control the climate". He threatened to withhold federal funding if California leaders did not "remedy now".

Speaking at a Cal Fire station in Colfax, near the Tahoe National Forest, Newsom on Tuesday chided Trump's administration for cutting forestry budgets by $2 billion, but he also pledged to cooperate with the White House on fire-safety issues. If Trump chose not to issue such declarations, it would prevent FEMA from providing financial assistance to state and local authorities, as well as victims of those fires.

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.

Over two consecutive days, the president took to Twitter to contend the state's then-Democratic Gov.

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.

Image Trump Orders FEMA to'Send No More Money for California Forest Fires Image #2

California faced its deadliest wildfire season this past year, with the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire destroying thousands of homes and burning through hundreds of thousands of acres.

At that time, he also threatened to cut federal aid to the state.

Critics on social media questioned whether Trump could legally withhold FEMA money that has already been appropriated.

Another prominent Californian, Sen.

The Camp Fire, which erupted on November 8, 2018, and was finally contained 17 days later, killed over 80 people and destroyed almost 14,000 homes.

In a tweet, Harris noted that Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in the state's history a year ago.

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