President Donald Trump again blamed Democratic state leaders on the West Coast for forest fires raging across the region for poor forest management, saying they should clear fallen trees because they can “just explode” after 18 months.
Arriving in California to survey the damage of the fires, the president said a “lot of things were possible” when asked if the changing climate was worsening the fires. “With regard to the forest, when trees fall down, after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry and like a match stick,” the president declared.
“There is no more water pouring through them. They just explode. They can explode,” he said.
After saying “years of dried leaves” also need to be cleaned up in forests as it’s “fuel for a fire”—a reference to his infamous “raking” the forest floors solution to preventing forest fires—the president said leaders of “forest” nations in Europe told him forest management was the key to preventing fires.
“They have to do something about it. They have to do cuts in between,” he said of state leaders.
“He said we have trees that are more explosive in terms of fire than they have in California, and we don’t have any problems because we manage our forests,” Trump concluded. “We have to do that in California.”
Trump on the the California fires: "When trees fall down, after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry, they become really like a matchstick and they get up — you know, there's no more water pouring through and they become very very — they just explode." pic.twitter.com/FT9S4xb4ye
— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) September 14, 2020
At a roundtable in Sacramento to discuss wildfires, Trump on Monday asserted that he expects the Earth to “start getting cooler” following a warning that California recently broke a world record in Death Valley this summer, reaching 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wade Crowfoot, California’s Sec. for Natural Resources Agency, explained to the president that his state has seen a warming trend in recent decades.
“As the governor said, we’ve had temperatures explode this summer. You may have learned that we broke a world record in the Death Valley. 130 degrees,” he explained as the president looked away and appeared to laugh. “But even in greater LA, 120 plus degrees.”
“We’re seeing this warming trend make our summers warmer, but also our winters warmer as well,” Crowfoot explained. “We want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests and actually work together with that science. That science is going to be key.”
Crowfoot then appeared to direct his comments at the president, telling him: “Because if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and say we think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed in protecting Californians.”
“Okay, It’ll start getting cooler,” Trump announced.
“I wish,” Crowfoot interjected.
“You just watch,” Trump added.
“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot replied.
“Oh, well, I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump remarked with a smile.
President Trump: "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch."
Wade Crowfoot, CA Sec. for Natural Resources: "I wish science agreed with you."
President Trump: "Well, I don't think science knows actually." pic.twitter.com/L98SD0l0cH
— The Hill (@thehill) September 14, 2020