California wildfire ignites Trump ignorance: Darcy cartoon

November 22, 2018

California wildfire ignites Trump ignorance: Darcy cartoon

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Smokey The Bear advises that one way to prevent forest fires is to not listen to Dopey The Donald.

President Trump has responded to the catastrophic California wildfire by blaming it on “gross mismanagement of the forests,” specifically, a failure to properly rake the forest floor the way he claims Finland does.   As a result, Fire Commander-in-Chief Trump is threatening to revoke Federal funding for California wildfire relief.

During a recent tour of the fire devastation in Paradise, California, Trump claimed the President of Finland had recently told him they don’t have a wildfire problem because the Finns rake their forest floors. 

“You gotta take care of the floors.  You look at other countries where they do it differently, and it’s a whole different story.  I was with the president of Finland, and he said we have a much different-- ‘we’re a forest nation.’  He called it a ‘forest nation.’   And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problems.”  

The Associated Press reports that Finland President Sauli Niinisto admitted to briefly discussing forestry with Trump in Paris during the Armistice anniversary, but didn’t recall talking about raking the forest floors.    Did Trump discuss waxing them? 

Finns responded by mocking Trump on social media with pictures of themselves raking and vacuuming in Finland’s forests.

Firefighters were in a less jovial mood in responding to a Trump tweet last week threatening to pull relief funding over what he claimed was poor land management.

Trump tweeted: “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.!   

With Trump, whether it’s  catastrophic California wildfires killing and leaving hundreds homeless, or the Saudi Crown Prince killing a Washington Post writer, it always comes back to money.

California Professional Firefighters president Brian Rice called Trump’s attacks on California “shameful” in a statement.

“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.  At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires.”

Rice also pointed out that 60% of the California forests Trump claims are mismanaged are under federal control.

“Wildfires are sparked and spread not only in forested areas but in populated areas and open fields fueled by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography.  It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California.”

On this Thanksgiving day my thoughts are with all the families of all those who have lost their lives and homes, those that are missing.

I’m thankful I will be able to spend Thanksgiving Day in an intact home with an intact family.   

I’m thankful for the California firefighters, first responders and volunteers.  I’m thankful to live in country where a president who isn’t thankful for them can be voted out of office.

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