California is currently being ravaged by the deadliest fires in its history. The blaze, which is in some areas spreading as fast as “the equivalent of eight football fields every minute,” has already claimed 44 lives, and shows no sign of slowing down. On November 10, while in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, President Trump decided to tweet this insane thought. Rather than send comfort and compassion to the thousands of people who have been displaced and lost their homes, he decided to blame the fire on poor forest management and threatened to withdraw federal funding if things weren’t brought under control:
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
The tweet was immediately denounced by anyone who has anything to do with fire safety, including the Pasadena Fire Association, who has been fighting the flames since they broke out. The PFA wrote in a tweet:
“The fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management. Come to SoCal and learn the facts & help the victims.”
Mr. President, with all due respect, you are wrong. The fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management. Come to SoCal and learn the facts & help the victims. Scott Austin, Pres IAFF 809. @IAFFNewsDesk https://t.co/d3jY0SeosF
— Pasadena Fire Assn. (@PFA809) November 10, 2018
Trump’s tweet makes no sense from any logical standpoint. One man who attempted to make this clearer than ever before was CNN meteorologist Tom Sater. Commenting that he normally enjoys the weather department because of its neutral, apolitical nature, he simply had to call out President Trump’s misinformation. He went on an epic fact-checking tear live on the air for all to see:
Clearly frustrated, Sater points out a number of reasons why the California fires have nothing to do with forest management:
“Forest management has nothing to do with mountain winds coming down the passes at 70 miles per hour. Or humidity levels in one hour dropping Thursday from 35 percent down into single digits, dryer than most deserts.”
POTUS won’t understand that explanation. Way over his head!
— Donna Lawson (@DonnaLaw2015) November 12, 2018
Pointing out how these negative conditions could also be influenced by climate change, Sater couldn’t believe the President was threatening to take funding away from the very areas that needed it most. He quoted a tweet he thought summed things up pretty well:
“It’s like taking funds from the National Hurricane Center until you stop all these hurricanes. It’s the same notion.”
I am planning on signing an executive order that takes funds from the National Hurricane Center until they stop all these hurricanes! @potus
— Fake Donald Trump (@TheFakeTrump) November 12, 2018
weathermen should not have to do this!
— sean (@howardthedolph1) November 12, 2018
People online stood behind Sater’s explanation, begging for caring and reason to win out.
If only he was listening!
— Janice Skotarczak (@GrammaJanna1) November 12, 2018
You might want to look at your position on climate change before suggesting their is no reason for increasing number and ferocity of wildfires. Coming to terms with how CC affects our planet is critical to the successful future management of the planet.
— Steve Dudley #FBPE (@stevedudley_) November 12, 2018
Many people also pointed out that the majority of the wildfires were happening on Federal land, which means Trump himself was responsible for their care and upkeep. Over the past two years, the President has taken noticeable steps to defund national parks and roll back climate change regulations.
Wildfires for Dummies – 48.6% of CA is national land. 100 years of fire data shows the 10 most destructive fires in CA occurred post 2004. Published scientific studies link increased wildfires to climate change. Santa Ana winds can reach gale force level. Get the picture yet?
— Dawn Nagel (@dawnrnagel) November 12, 2018
This tweet shows how uniformed and ignorant you truly are. The FEDERAL government manages over 60% of California forest lands. There is a thing called DROUGHT (that means no water). I live in CA and I am still wearing shorts and tank tops due to warm weather. NO WINTER HERE.
— Lisa M (@LMET1111) November 12, 2018
Twitter was sick of the President’s controversial rhetoric.
Your tweet accomplishes nothing. You are just pointing fingers and blaming people instead of suggesting resources to help those in trouble. Also, for someone who believes humans can’t cause climate change—why are you assuming a human could prevent a natural disaster? Hypocrite.
— Katie Stuller (@katie_stuller) November 12, 2018
And as you mouth off let’s make sure everyone realizes that each and every person who has suffered loss from fire, tornados and hurricanes will not be able to claim personal losses on their taxes because of your wonderful tax reform.
— Carol Kevnick (@cmkevnick) November 13, 2018
Try leading instead of name-calling and blaming. Dog whistles to your base are not a substitute for leadership. #magamyass
— Mike Moresi (@mixmastermike76) November 12, 2018
As the flames continue to spread, firefighters work around the clock to keep people safe in California. Hopefully, there is relief in sight.
What most people don't understand is that Trump considers "poor forest management" is "leaving a single tree still standing"
— Chip (@stillchip) November 12, 2018
CA only manages less than 5% of the forest lands, the rest is National and YOU cut the funding. So, yes, you have been managing things terribly and I suppose you are to blame.
— ⚡️⚡️ Ian Jacobs ⚡️⚡️ (@dubfuq) November 13, 2018