Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Trump Says California Lawmakers to Blame for Wildfires

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

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less