by Katy Grimes
As Appearing in the California Globe
Wildfires caused by misguided, largely non-existent forest management or climate change?
President Donald Trump made a stop in Sacramento Monday, to meet with Gov. Gavin Newsom and discuss as the state’s historic wildfires.
Air Force One landed at McClellan Airport, which now serves as a Northern California hub for the collaborative firefighting efforts led by Cal Fire and the United States Forest Service.
President Trump’s visit comes on the heels of Governor Newsom calling the historic wildfires a “climate damn emergency.”
Trump has been critical about California’s lack of forest management, and spoke to Gov. Newsom about it last year during a visit to the state to assess the wildfires. “Please remember the words, very simple. Forest management. Please remember that,” Trump said ahead of Monday’s meeting.
The two seemed to politely share barbs during the meeting. “Have to do a lot about forest management,” the President said at the press conference. “It has to be good. I’ve been talking about this for three years.”
“When you have years of leaves, dried leaves on the ground, it just sets it up. It’s really a fuel for a fire,” the President said. He noted that the brush and dead trees in California’s forests are “like a matchstick.”
Gov. Newsom appeared to take umbrage with Trump’s calls for forest management. The governor rattled off statistics about the current fires: “14,000 lightening strikes, 1,100 fires, 3.2 million acres, 16,500 firefighters fighting and National Guard, 24 lives lost, 4,200 structures destroyed, 44,000 people evacuated. “The hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting drier… something happened to the plumbing of the world. Climate change is real and exacerbating this,” Newsom said.