Saturday, 20 October, 2018

WHITE HOUSE: Trump says 'bad environmental laws' to blame for wildfires

A DC-10 air tanker drops fire retardant along the crest of a hill to protect the two bulldozers below that were cutting fire lines at the River Fire near Lakeport California North California wildfires expand to more than two-thirds the size of LA
Jay Anderson | 07 August, 2018, 11:38

The declaration makes federal funds available to residents of Shasta County, where the Carr Fire outside Redding, California, has destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

The 3,900 crews battling the Mendocino Complex on Monday were focusing on keeping flames from breaking through fire lines on a ridge above the foothill communities of Nice, Lucerne, Glen Haven, and Clearlake Oaks, said Tricia Austin, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire.

"We broke the record", said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with Cal Fire.

Fire officials expect it to take another nine days to fully contain the so-called Mendocino Complex Fire, which had scorched 273,664 acres (110,748 hectares) by Monday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, an area almost the size of Los Angeles.

Trump may be referring to state and federal laws that place water allocations to protect fish and wildlife on equal standing with irrigation and urban user supplies.

"California does NOT divert water to the ocean", he told CNN in an email.

The president's comment comes after he said Sunday that too much water from the northern part of the state is being wasted by flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

More than 14,000 personnel from California and elsewhere in the country are fighting wildfires across the state.




"Can be used for fires, farming and everything else", the president said.

"There's nothing that California water policy has done that makes these fires worse or more hard to fight", Gleick said. He also encouraged the clearing of trees to stop the fires from spreading.

Then on Monday he tweeted, "Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean". In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people - including two firefighters assisting in a wildfire near Yosemite National Park. The number one spot belongs to last year's Thomas Fire, which burned 281,893 acres.

In Shasta County, the Carr fire located near Redding, California has burned entire neighborhoods and forced thousands to flee.

President Trump claimed in a tweet that California's wildfires are "made so much worse by the bad environmental laws" which prevent firefighters from accessing water.

Hotter weather attributed to climate change is drying out vegetation, creating more intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, climate and fire experts say.

The wildfire about 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of San Francisco started more than two weeks ago by sparks from the steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire. Here are the 10 largest fires in California history. By Monday, it has become the second-largest California wildfire on record, surpassing the size of a massive blaze that killed 15 people in 2003 in San Diego County. It was 38 percent contained.

On Sunday, 140 fire managers and specialists from Australia and New Zealand underwent special training and were issued safety gear at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise before being deployed to fires in the Pacific Northwest and California.

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