The Camp Fire burns near Jarbo Gap in Butte County, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2018. (CAL FIRE)

Trump Threatens to Withhold FEMA Funding for California Wildfire Assistance

President Trump threatened to withhold emergency preparedness funding that helps California brace for and fight devastating forest fires unless the state can “get its act together” in regard to forest management.

Otherwise, Trump tweeted, he will direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to stop delivering funds to the state.

Trump’s vow came during the ongoing partial government shutdown, which began at midnight on Dec. 22 and affects 800,000 federal workers, including FEMA employees.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has negotiated with the White House over the past several weeks in an effort to end the shutdown, condemned the president’s statement and asked for support from Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also of California.

Last year was the deadliest and most destructive fire season in California, with 104 deaths and more than $3.5 billion in damages.

Newly inaugurated California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted that the president is playing games with people’s lives.

ICYMI: FEMA Has Kept a Lower Profile in Camp Fire Than After Hurricanes: Here’s Why

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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