California Firefighters Union president Brian Rice has some stern words for Donald Trump, after the president recently took to Twitter to blame the recent spate of California fires on the state itself.
As DeadState reports, Rice has decreed that firefighters “and the communities in this state deserve an apology” after Trump made his controversial statements, going on to call the president an idiot.
“You’re an idiot. And you should have never said that, and you should take the time before you speak. Words are very powerful.”
It should be noted that after brush fires initially began in Southern California, Donald Trump agreed to provide federal funds to help firefighters in their battle against the fierce blazes. However, not long after the president’s response, he issued a scathing post on Twitter that placed the blame for the fires squarely on poor forest management.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
However, as the Los Angeles Times was quick to point out, the Woolsey fire in Southern California wasn’t in a forest. In fact, it originally began in Simi Valley — very close to the old Santa Susana Field Lab — and grew in enormity very quickly, careening into neighboring suburbs.
Another dystopian photo, by @mrdougellin via @troydillinger, of people evacuating #Malibu and #ZumaBeach area, heading south on PCH towards Santa Monica. #WoolseyFire #MalibuFire pic.twitter.com/jDgxmRYel4
— Bradley Allen (@BradleySA) November 9, 2018
Brian Rice further described the nightmarish inferno-like scenario that firefighters were facing in California. He suggested that the battle against the blazes called for encouragement, something not on offer from Donald Trump.
“Our members are on the front lines, risking their lives, as we expect them to. And the least we could expect from our leaders at not only the state level, which we get, but certainly at a national level. We don’t need a pat on the back, but acknowledge the state — the state of California is going through hell right now, literally.”
And according to the Washington Post, Rice also noted that while Trump is threatening to pull federal funding over mismanagement of forests, this is an area of responsibility that lies squarely with the federal government.
“The president’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for catastrophic wildfire is dangerously wrong. Nearly 60 percent of California forests are under federal management, and another two-thirds under private control. It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California.”
Pasadena Firefighters Association president Scott Austin also joined in the crusade against Trump, stating that the fires in Southern California are actually urban and are not in forested areas.
“The fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management. Come to So. Cal and learn the facts & help the victims.”
With 31 people dead so far due to the destructive fires in California — and the Woolsey blaze alone having burned 85,500 acres while being 15% contained as of Sunday evening — Brian Rice and others are calling Donald Trump to task for his commentary on the causes of the emergency.