Trump wasted no time from making his address to the nation to addressing the issues. Citing poor forest management Trump threatened to cut emergency funding used to fight the CA wildfire.
“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest [sic] fires that, with proper Forrest [sic] Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!” Trump posted to Twitter.
Pressed for a response, FEMA news desk sent a terse email that appeared to shift the blame to the government shutdown. The email read: “Thank you for contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency Press Office. Due to the federal funding hiatus, we are not able to respond to general press queries.”
Trump did illicit a response from Governor of California, Gavin Newsom who tweeted back, “Disasters and recovery are no time for politics. I’m already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses.”
The Trump administration has previously called out the practices of California’s forest management, contending that trees need to be regularly thinned out in order to prevent the rapid spread of fire.
However opponents of Trump are quick to lay the blame at the president’s feet for not supporting the theory of climate change, which they argue is why California has seen some of the worst wildfires in its history.
FEMA’s union president, Steve Reaves, has since attended a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to declare that FEMA is in a state of recovery and that it needed the government to reopen in order to aid the people.
“Normally, this is when we restock. This is when we rest our people. This is when we prepare for the next big disaster. What this means is, anyone who needs insurance claims, property damages while we’re out, and the American people ask, ‘Where’s FEMA?’ We’re furloughed,” Reaves said. “We need the government opened now.”