President Orders End to FEMA Money for California Wildfire Recovery

Donald Trump stands alongside Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom as they view damage from the Camp Fire in Paradise California on Nov. 17 2018

"It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" the president said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Even if we eliminated all habitat for riparian species and fish, and allowed saltwater intrusion into the delta and set up a sprinkler system over the state, that wouldn't compensate for greater moisture loss from climate change".

The freaky proclamation furthers the administration's attempt to pin the devastation on environmentalists while ignoring the clear impact climate change is having on extreme fires out west.

The president long has criticized California state officials, sometimes with dubious claims, over wildfires there and their steps to prevent and nix them.

One potentially interested lawmaker is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; a spokeswoman has not responded to a request seeking a comment from him.

Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA under President Barack Obama, said he knew of no way Trump could stop sending money for wildfires for which he has already issued a disaster declaration, which he has for the record fires of the past two years. Trump wrote on Twitter.

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"Weird how we're all told it's beyond the bounds of propriety to talk about impeaching a president who capriciously threatens to cut off disaster aid to the country's largest state immediately after its worst wildfire season in history", Simon Maloy, a senior writer at Media Matters for America, added in response to Trump's tweet. And numerous state's worst fires don't happen in forests at all.

"It's absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to communities destroyed by wildfire", California's senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday. On other occasions Trump has adopted a right-wing conspiracy theory blaming California wildfires on state water policies he pretty clearly does not understand. Newsom also announced $1 billion in forest management spending over five years.

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.

More than half of California's forests are managed by the federal government, and the letter noted the U.S. Forest Service's budget has steadily decreased since 2016.

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