President Donald Trump gave an ultimatum to California early on Saturday morning, following his declaration of a state of emergency for the state ravaged by wildfires.
Trump tweeted that he believed these deadly, and expensive, wildfires are the cause of mismanagement of the forest.
The president also warned that if the West Coast state didn’t get its wildfire problem under control, he wouldn’t be handing out more federal funding.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump tweeted early Saturday 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!”
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
This message went out just hours after the president signed off on federal assistance for the fire-ravaged areas of California, The Associated Press reported.
The fire in question is making its way across the town of Paradise in Northern California and has killed at least nine people.
As of Saturday morning, 6,700 homes and businesses had been engulfed in the blaze being called the Camp Fire, which makes it the most destructive fire in California’s history, Reuters reported.
“This event was the worst-case scenario. It was the event we have feared for a long time,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Friday evening news conference.
“Regrettably, not everybody made it out.”
Southern California is also battling fires, including the town of Thousand Oaks, the location of the recent mass shooting.
There have been evacuation orders for more than 200,000 residence, do to the threatening nature of this blaze, Reuters reported.
The reason for the Northern California Fire is still under investigation, but it is believed that the spark might have come from a Pacific Gas & Electric Company electrical line, which experienced a problem near where the fire broke out, according to the AP.
The utility company has already been sued for starting another large fire in California, Mercury News reported.
One of the first firefighters to the scene of the fire on Thursday morning estimated that the fire was about 10 acres large with a “really good wind on it.”
The same first responder warned that when the fire left the “maintained vegetation under the power lines” the fire would quickly accelerate when it hit the brush and timber, according to Mercury News.
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