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Trump, California spar over money for wildfire relief funds

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Donald Trump stands alongside Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom as they view damage from the Camp Fire in Paradise California on Nov. 17 2018

President Trump says he has ordered a stoppage of federal emergency aid to California, blaming the state for not managing its forests.

Trump added another layer of ignorance to his stance on Wednesday morning, when he attacked the state of California for failing to do "proper Forrest Management".

"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money", the president declared. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" he said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The November Camp fire became the nation's deadliest forest fire in a century, killing at least 85 people and destroying most of the city of Paradise.

Trump also blamed poor forest management even while the fire was raging, and cited the superior management practiced in Finland, though the country's president denied a conversation with Trump happened as the president described it. "The people of CA ― folks in Paradise ― should not be victims to partisan bickering". "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests". These comments were accompanied by threats to yank federal funding from California back then too.

Pelosi slammed Trump's latest threat, tweeting that it "insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires a year ago".

FEMA is part of the Department of Homeland Security, whose operations are affected by the partial government shutdown, which entered its 19th day on Wednesday.

"He's never played politics with disaster declarations and we're grateful for that", Newsom said.

"He's already inviting illegal immigrants to his sanctuary state - everybody!" one said of Newsom.

California utility PG&E Corp.is exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities in connection with fatal wildfires in 2018 and 2017, according to Reuters.

The FEMA website homepage says it is now "actively contacting California Wildfire survivors to determine their housing needs and working diligently to identify additional short-term and long-term housing options".

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage.

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