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Trump threatens to end FEMA aid for California over its forest management rules

Trump threatens to end FEMA aid for California over its forest management rules

Trump lights a fire under Governor Gavin Newsom to enact meaningful wildfire prevention policies.

When Governor Gavin Newsom took office this week, he rebuked President Donald Trump through a series of statements and policy proposals.

Now, the #Resisitance-minded Governor is facing #Counter-Resistance. President Donald Trump tweeted that he’s ordered FEMA to cut off money to California over his criticism of forest management.

An estimated 86 people died in the Camp Fire in Butte County north of San Francisco. The fire burned 153,000 acres in November, destroying 14,000 homes, 528 commercial buildings and 4,300 other structures. That includes the entire town of Paradise.

Trump’s announcement comes three days after California Gov. Gavin Newsom was sworn in and, with one of his first acts, signed new legislation that modernizes the way the state responds and prepares for natural disasters.

As of now, the administration has not published an order to end FEMA funding for the state.

How much money could be involved? At least enough to build the border barrier!

$118.7 billion Total FEMA grants since 2005 for fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance, and public assistance in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Since 2005, California has received $6.3 billion in FEMA grants for fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance, and public assistance, according to agency records. Only three states have received more – Louisiana New York and Texas.

Newsom, of course, responded quickly via social media.

California’s new governor also touted new plans to address wildfires.

Appearing at a Cal Fire station on his first full day in office, Newsom said the new funding would come on top of $200 million already earmarked for forestry management by the Legislature last fall, bringing the total to $305 million in new spending.

Newsom, flanked by Cal Fire employees and emergency services officials, said he’ll ask the Legislature for funds to cover a wide variety of fire safety needs. He wants more helicopters, remote infrared cameras that can help detect fires, better alert systems and new technologies for tapping satellite images.

He also wants funding for mental health services for first responders, and more dollars to hire more Cal Fire firefighters.

I will simply point out these plans focus on fighting the fires, not preventing them. Policies that could actually prevent fires (sensible water policies, brush-clearing allowances, and restriction on new developments) would require state officials to push-back on green justice warriors and bureaucrats that want the tax dollars from new residences in the California coffers.

Therefore, Trump has just lit a fire under Newsom to enact meaningful wildfire prevention policies.

ProPublica, hardly the bastion of conservative politics, recently published a damning analysis that asserts every level of government understood the fire dangers and took few, if any, of the steps to prevent the historic Carr Fire catastrophe.

A snippet:

The government failure that gave the Carr Fire its first, crucial foothold traces to differences in how California and the federal National Park Service manage brush along state highways. Transportation officials responsible for upgrading Route 299 had appealed to Whiskeytown officials to clear the grass, shrubs and trees lining the often superheated roadway, but to no avail.

At the federal level, the park service official responsible for fire prevention across Whiskeytown’s 39,000 acres of forest had been left to work with a fraction of the money and staffing he knew he needed to safeguard against an epic fire. What steps the local parks team managed to undertake — setting controlled fires as a hedge against uncontrollable ones — were severely limited by state and local air pollution regulations.

And both the residents and elected officials of Redding had chosen not to adopt or enforce the kind of development regulations other municipalities had in their efforts to keep homes and businesses safe even in the face of a monstrous wildfire.

Newsom may want to acquaint himself with this review, and find more “experts” outside the climate change promoters in his contingent.


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4th armored div | January 11, 2019 at 5:03 pm

with the blue states trying to hobble POTUS at every turn,
he should just ignore them –
“elections have consequences” as someone proclaimed some years ago.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to 4th armored div. | January 11, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    I liked the idea of directing money earmarked for California and Puerto Rico to the wall. Since california is a big part of the problem with illegals, it is equitable that they help pay to fix the problem.

    Since Puerto Rico pays no Federal taxes, why should we be giving them gobs of money?

      According to one source I just checked, Puerto Ricans pay no income taxes on income earned in Puerto Rico, but they pay them on any income from outside of the island. They also pay Medicare and Social Security taxes.

JusticeDelivered | January 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Good for Trump, it is outrageous that people do a host of stupid things and then expect all taxpayers to keep bailing them out. In addition to insisting that well known forestry management techniques be used to mitigate risk, we should also stop people from building in flood and hurricane prone places, or at least stop replacing their homes. New Orleans, Dallas and numerous other places should either stop building in high risk areas or lose aid if they continue to do so.

    Exactly what areas around Dallas do you consider high risk and why?

      Barry in reply to txvet2. | January 11, 2019 at 9:53 pm

      “Exactly what areas around Dallas do you consider high risk and why?”

      Guessing he meant Houston.

        tom_swift in reply to Barry. | January 12, 2019 at 4:22 am

        The Texas town most famous for susceptibility to the ravages of wind and water is Galveston (which is of course downhill from Houston). Historical hurricane-bait. Mainly of interest to us non-Texans for its historical architecture, even though that regrettably spends too much time under water.

          txvet2 in reply to tom_swift. | January 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm

          I have to point out that the Gulf/Caribbean area contains thousands of islands, many of which are heavily populated and are also hit regularly by hurricanes, unlike the Texas coast where they are relatively rare. Should all of them be depopulated also?

        JusticeDelivered in reply to Barry. | January 12, 2019 at 8:58 am

        Yes, sorry for the mistake. I meant Houston. At the time of the hurricane, I looked up a flooding map which showed large residential areas under 30′ of water.

        I live in an area prone to tornadoes, when I built a new house over thirty years ago, I put a room under one side of the garage which is all reinforced concrete. I have never had any tornado damage. A hurricane is far more dangerous, something where crawling into a hole is not an option.

        Building to withstand a hurricane is prohibitively expensive.

    Floods, fires, mud slides, tornado’s, hurricanes, high wind areas, high drug zones, high gun crime zones, volcano’s and calderas, high tide zones, super fund sites, areas run by democrats, areas prone to land slides …

    Buddy … you’re eliminating most of the US …

      JusticeDelivered in reply to PODKen. | January 12, 2019 at 9:13 am

      Some areas represent much higher risk than others. There are areas which should not be used for anything other than farming, or in the case of California, not developed at all. It seems foolhardy to build where mudslides are likely.

      When I was evaluating where to by property I looked at risk issues like flooding. There are homes nearby that end up flooded with 2-3′ deep water periodically. Every 2-5 years they are remodeled and for sale. In over thirty years no one has bothered to raise those homes by say 4-5′ so that they will not be damaged. They just clean then up and pass the problem on.

Trump is punishing the wrong people. Both Shasta and Butte county trend right wing.

Leftists mocked victims of the Carr fire/Redding for voting Republican. F them, THEY DESERVE IT FOR VOTING TRUMP – that’s what they were saying online.

I also recall the same mocking tone from conservative commenters here at LI after the Santa Rosa area fire two years ago. Commenters Texas taking that tone after what happened in DFW/Houston? They demanded sympathy after the hurricane and flood. And now people are telling victims of the Camp Fire to go F themselves? I loath that attitude, especially from people who claim to be God fearing Christians. THE NERVE. Two towns burnt to the ground.

Voting in Redding leans Republican. 27.5% of the people in Redding voted Democrat in the last presidential election. 63.9% voted Republican, and the remaining 8.6% voted Independent.

    txvet2 in reply to Tiki. | January 11, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    So we should play like Democrats and distribute aid according to how the people in the area voted? I remember brush fires in N. Texas around 2009/10 where Obama denied requests for fire-fighting aircraft, presumably because Texas went Republican. I don’t necessarily agree with Trump’s decision, but if what you say is true, apparently it isn’t driven by politics.

      PODKen in reply to txvet2. | January 11, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      There’s nothing said or done by government that isn’t driven by politics. How the people vote means absolutely nothing … nothing.

      In this case Trump politics is clearly the cause. As always he chooses to remain uninformed and runs around picking fights gust to stroke his ego … running around and bitching about everything helps no one … and he doesn’t give a shit at all about people, truth, law or right and wrong. He’s a black hole of ignorance and negativity that demolishes and sucks the life out of everything.

        Barry in reply to PODKen. | January 11, 2019 at 10:44 pm

        Hope you’re in the way of the next fire. You can blame Trump and make your pathetic self feel better.

        Uninformed = stupidity = PODKen

    tom_swift in reply to Tiki. | January 12, 2019 at 4:15 am

    So . . . California can use its few remaining sensible Republicans as hostages to demand that the Feds pay to perpetuate the state’s suicidal hobbies?

    This sounds impractical.

The California politicians will blame the public utility for sparking the fire, and it is possible that sparks from utility lines may have started it. But it was a fire that was inevitable, because so much brush and so many old trees had accumulated. Sooner or later, lightning or a camper or a train would have started that fire, and the dense fuels would have made it impossible to control.

The problem has been with California’s policies against thinning of forests (which actually pays the state money for the lumber), and their rules preventing controlled burns to remove underbrush. These problems have been pointed out by the Forest Service for years, but California politicians have opposed any lumber harvest and any controlled burns because those measures are politically unpopular. So the fuels continue to accumulate, and the Santa Ana winds continue to blow, and any spark becomes an uncontrollable conflagration.