Trump Blames California Wildfires on "Poor" Forest Management

Donald Trump speaks at a rally in support of U. S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley on November 1, 2018 - Getty-H 2018
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The president threatened via Twitter to withhold federal payments to California, causing stars such as Katy Perry and John Legend to fight back against his comments on social media.

President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal payments to California, claiming its forest management is "so poor."

Trump said Saturday via Twitter that "there is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly fires in California." He said "billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

The comments were the president's first about massive wildfires, including a blaze that incinerated most of the Northern California town of Paradise and killed at least nine people.

Wildfires also raged in Southern California, including the town of Thousand Oaks, where days earlier a gunman killed a dozen people at a local bar.

Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds to help firefighters.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday told The Hollywood Reporter that federal fire assistance is on the way to aid in the fight against the Woosley fire, despite Trump's comments. 

“I think the Departmental people are professionals and in our experiences have been good in getting us the reimbursements and the federal assistance. Even if some things get politicized at the very top with snarky comments from the president,” Garcetti told THR.

Hollywood stars also fought back against the president’s comments, taking to Twitter to criticize Trump for his "heartless" tweet. 

"This man is demented. Never stop saying it," Ava DuVernay tweeted in response to Trump’s statement. Katy Perry also criticized Trump, calling his response to the wildfires “heartless": "This is an absolutely heartless response. There aren’t even politics involved. Just good American families losing their homes as you tweet, evacuating into shelters."

Meanwhile, Don Cheadle shared a subtle response, telling Trump, “You suck at this.” Whereas John Legend dubbed Trump a “national embarrassment."