Quantcast
Politics
Carr and Mendocino Complex fires seen from space. NASA Earth Observatory / Lauren Dauphin

Trump Says California Lawmakers to Blame for Wildfires

President Donald Trump tweeted for the first time about the deadly wildfires ravaging California that have killed nine people, destroyed hundreds of buildings and charred hundreds of thousands of acres.

Trump did not offer condolences. Rather, the president tweeted Sunday that the wildfires are "being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized." He added that the water is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.


It's not clear why he is blaming California lawmakers for releasing water into the sea.

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) slammed Trump's remarks.

"There is more than enough readily available water in CA to fight the fires," he tweeted. "The truth is that wildfires across the United States started increasing in the 1980s. Some of this increase is attributable to climate change."

Also, firefighters have not complained about lacking water to fight the 17 major wildfires across the state.

When asked if there's a water shortage at the Carr and Mendocino Complex fires—the most serious of the many infernos—California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynette Round told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Not that I'm aware of ... but that doesn't mean it's not happening."

Rather, firefighters told Buzzfeed that the severity of the fires can be attributed to the region's extreme weather conditions and gale-force winds that have whipped the flames.

Experts have also linked California's wildfires to population growth and development, years of prolonged drought that have dried vegetation and climate change.

To be fair, the president also called for clearing trees to stop the fires, which does starve a fire by removing the fuel.

Cal Fire told KPIX 5 that abstaining from years of controlled burns has caused unchecked growth and created tinderbox conditions.

"It's a daunting task that we're working with some of our cooperators on to make sure we can get some of those trees out of the way to not add to some of the fuel," Cal Fire Assistant Chief Mike Marcucci said to KPIX.

Evan Westrup, a spokesman for California Gov. Jerry Brown told BuzzFeed that Trump's tweet "doesn't merit a response."

Brown recently warned that climate change has made his state's string of wildfire outbreaks "part of our ordinary experience."

"[The] predictions that I see, the more serious predictions of warming and fires to occur later in the century, 2040 or 2050, they're now occurring in real time," Brown said at a news conference on Wednesday in Sacramento.

"You can expect that—unfortunately—to continue intensifying in California and throughout the Southwest. We are part of that process," he added.

Last week, Trump declared that an emergency exists in California and ordered Federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
Annette Bernhardt / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

3 Things You Can Do to Help Avoid Climate Disaster

By Stephanie Feldstein

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a dire warning last week: We need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and we need to do it fast to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Jess Lundgren / CC BY 2.0

The Trump Administration’s ‘Dishonest’ Attack on Fuel-Economy Standards

By John R. Platt

The Trump administration's plan to freeze fuel-economy standards is "the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history," said a retired EPA engineer who helped to develop new the standards under the Obama administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Lizzie Carr traveling down the Hudson River on her stand-up paddleboard. Max Guliani / The Hudson Project

Her Stand-Up Paddleboard Is a Platform for Campaigning Against Plastic Pollution

By Patrick Rogers

Lizzie Carr was navigating a stretch of the Hudson River north of Yonkers, New York, recently when she spotted it—a hunk of plastic so large and out of place that she was momentarily at a loss to describe it.

Keep reading... Show less
Science
The Ross Ice Shelf at the Bay of Whales. Michael Van Woert, NOAA

Scientists Study Ice Shelf by Listening to Its Changing Sounds

By Marlene Cimons

Researchers monitoring vibrations from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf were flabbergasted not long ago to hear something unexpected—the ice was "singing" to them. "We were stunned by a rich variety of time-varying tones that make up this newly described sort of signal," said Rick Aster, professor of geosciences at Colorado State University, one of the scientists involved in the study.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Politics
DSLRVideo.com / Flicker / CC BY-SA 2.0

'Go Out and Vote' Patagonia Endorses Candidates For First Time in Its History

Outdoor brand Patagonia is endorsing candidates for the first time in its history in an effort to protect the country's at-risk public lands and waters.

The civic-minded retailer is backing two Democrats in two crucial Senate races: the re-election of Sen. Jon Tester of Montana; and Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Desert Bighorn Sheep in Joshua Tree National Park. Kjaergaard / CC BY 3.0

Leaked Trump Administration Memo: Keep Public in Dark About How Endangered Species Decisions Are Made

In a Trump administration memorandum leaked to the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing its staff to withhold, or delay releasing, certain public records about how the Endangered Species Act is carried out. That includes records where the advice of career wildlife scientists may be overridden by political appointees in the Trump administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Disposable diapers add staggering amounts of waste to landfills. Pxhere

Dirty Diapers Could Be Recycled Into Fabrics, Furniture Under P&G Joint Venture

Disposal diapers can take an estimated 500 years to decompose. That means if Henry VIII wore disposables, they'd probably still be around today.

Although throwaway nappies are undoubtedly convenient, these mostly-synthetic items cause never-ending steams of waste that will take centuries to disappear.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
The swelling barrier lake after a landslide forced evacuations along the Yarlung Zangbo River. YouTube screenshot / CCTV+

6,000 Evacuated After Tibet Landslide

Six thousand people have been evacuated after a landslide in Tibet Wednesday blocked a river that flows downstream into India, creating a lake that could cause major flooding in the subcontinent once the debris is cleared, The Associated Press reported.

Chinese emergency officials announced the evacuations Thursday. The landslide impacted a village in Menling County, but no one was killed or injured, Chinese officials said.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!