California wildfires: Donald Trump BLAMES California’s ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS for blazes | World | News
The US president stated that California was diverting large amounts of water into the Pacific Ocean, while also failing to develop a sufficient number of firebreaks in dense vegetation.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “California wildfires are being magnified and made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilised.
“It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also clear trees to stop fire spreading.”
Henri Grissino-Mayer, a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee, nevertheless countered President Trump’s statements and stated he had “no clue” what the President was referring to.
Speaking to CNN, he said: “California does not divert water to the ocean.
“Ridiculous. It’s true that water is directed to the coastal cities for a constant water supply but all such water is used by the coastal communities.”
The White House approved a disaster declaration for Shasta County over the weekend following requests from California’s State Governor Jerry Brown, allowing affected residents to apply for federal assistance including emergency housing.
Governor Brown commented on the disaster, stating: “Battling these relentless fires requires a Herculean effort.
“Jurisdictions are drawing on any and all available resources to contain all of the fires statewide and to quickly attack and attempt the extinguish the myriad of new fire starts that arise across all regions of the state every day.”
President Trump nevertheless criticised Democrat Governor Brown, repeating his attacks on California’s environmental laws.
He said: “Governor Jerry Brown must allow the free flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the north and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.
“Can be used for fires, farming and everything else.”
The Carr Fire in Shasta County is the deadliest of 17 wildfires currently blazing in California, after claiming its seventh victim over the weekend.
A Pacific Gas and Electric worker was killed while working to restore power in an affected region, according to utility spokesman JD Guidi.
The fire has burned over 160,000 acres of land, and was 43 percent contained on Sunday evening, according to CAL FIRE.
The Carr Fire has now been raging for over three weeks, and is the sixth most destructive fire in California’s history, destroying over 1,600 buildings.
The Mendocino Complex fire, which comprises the Ranch Fire and River Fire, is the largest blaze Californian firefighters are currently tackling.
It has burned approximately 273,664 acres, and grew around 70 percent over the weekend.
Over 14,000 firefighters are currently battling the wildfires across California, and fire crews from New Zealand and Australia are travelling to the state to support the effort.