Wildfires are burning throughout Northern and Southern California. The Camp Fire, north of Sacramento, has killed nine people, and left countless more homeless. The Washington Post reports that the town of Paradise is almost completely destroyed. Near Los Angeles, the Woosley and Hill Fires are devastating neighborhoods, including Thousand Oaks, which is still grieving over this week’s mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill. Here’s what President Donald Trump had to say in reaction to the devastating fire that has burned more than 100,000 acres and put over a quarter of a million people under evacuation orders:
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump tweeted this morning. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
Scientists point to climate change as the reason for the outbreak in forest fires along the West Coast. “Drier areas become drier,” notes the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit collective of private and academic climate scientists. Incidences of wildfires are also projected to rise in the upcoming years.
Trump has declared a state of emergency for California, which enables the state to request funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist the numerous government, state, and private agencies working to put out the fires.
California’s new governor-elect Gavin Newsom wrote that “CA mourns tonight.”
Celebrities, state politicians, and climate change experts quickly denounced Trump’s comments. Some noted the insensitivity of his tweet in the wake of multiple deaths and homelessness while others asserted that he is factually incorrect regarding the causes of wildfires.
Responses from Katy Perry, John Legend, Ava DuVernay, and others blasted Trump’s lack of compassion.