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Trump, California spar over money for wildfire relief funds

Trump, California spar over money for wildfire relief funds

In his initial tweet, Trump spelled the word "forest" with two Rs, apparently not in reference to Forrest Gump.

President Donald Trump, who has blamed California's forest management for last year's disastrous fires, threatened to halt the Federal Emergency Management Agency's assistance to victims unless that state changes its practices. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives and money!"

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen", the president tweeted, twice misspelling forest. Eventually, #ForrestTrump even started trending. "I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses", Gov. Newsom tweeted. "The people of CA - folks in Paradise", a community that was among the hardest hit by the Camp Fire previous year, "should not be victims to partisan bickering". Jay Inslee and Kate Brown of Washington and OR, respectively, sent a letter to the president asking him to double federal funding for forest management.

Critics on social media questioned whether Trump could legally withhold FEMA money that has already been appropriated.

A day earlier, Trump visited the scorched remains of Paradise, a city of 27,000 that was mostly destroyed by a wildfire that killed at least 86 people and leveled more than 10,000 homes. She called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also of California, to join her to "condemn & call on POTUS to reassure millions in CA that our govt will be there for them in their time of need". And the federal government owns far more California land than the state government at which Trump keeps spitting contempt and threats. It says a lot about Trump's focus on the subject that he bothered to make a correction.

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Trump's tweet today comes as he faces heat over the ongoing government shutdown, in which FEMA is partially affected.

"The President has seen first-hand our fire-ravaged areas in Northern California", he said. The utility said it's doing all it can to reduce wildfire risks.

Fire control is not Trump's only grievance with the Golden State, which voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Newsom in November.

Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported last month.