President Trump threatens to cut off FEMA funding for California wildfires

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President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold Federal Emergency Management Agency money to help California cope with wildfires if the state doesn't improve its forest management practices. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold Federal Emergency Management Agency money to help California cope with wildfires if the state doesn't improve its forest management practices.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen," Trump initially tweeted. "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

Critics were quick to pounce on the conspicuous misspelling in the tweet, and "Forrest" soon became a trending topic on Twitter. The president later published a new tweet with the correct spelling.

This isn't the first time the president has criticized California for its handling of wildfires.

Back in November, he blamed wildfires across the state on quote gross mismanagement, sparking backlash from firefighters and state leaders.

The president's early morning tweets come two days after Gavin Newsom was sworn in as California's 40th governor. Newsom delivered a rebuke of Trump's wall.

In response to Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot back at the president, calling the tweet an "insult to the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes."

California Sen. Kamala Harris also responded to Trump on Twitter, saying "we should work together to mitigate these fires by combating climate change, not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster."

The Woolsey Fire devastated Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The massive blaze killed three people and left more than 1,500 without homes.

A large portion of the forest land in the state of California is actually on federal land, putting it outside the management of state agencies.

Eyewitness News reached out to FEMA for a comment regarding the president's tweet. The agency replied with the following response:

"Thank you for contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency Press Office. Due to the federal funding hiatus, we are not able to respond to general press inquiries."

The president's threat comes just as FEMA had extended its deadline to those impacted by the Woolsey Fire to Jan. 31.
KGO-TV contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
politicsPresident Donald Trumpu.s. & worldCamp FirewildfirecaliforniaFEMAdonald trumpWoolsey FireWashington DC
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