President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he has ordered a halt to federal emergency funds for California to fight wildfires and manage its forests unless officials in the western U.S. state can "get their act together."
"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) Management, would never happen. 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!" Trump wrote on Twitter
Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported last month.
The Camp Fire broke out on the morning of Nov. 8 near the mountain community of Paradise, California, sweeping through the town and killing at least 86 people, in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.
California utility company PG&E Corp is exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities related to fatal wildfires in 2018 and 2017, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The state's former top firefighter, Ken Pimlott, disagrees with Trump's assessment. He said last month that California leads the nation in clearing away dead trees and thinning areas to remove fuel for fires.
Material from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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