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      Trump Blames Environmental

      Laws For Western Wildfires

      Cites Water Diversions, Ignores Climate Change


      AFP/Getty Image

      A firefighter battles flames near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Saturday.


      By Ray Cunneff

      August 6, 2018


      As massive wildfires continue to scorch California and the west, President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a tweet that confounded experts, wrongly blaming environmental laws and the state’s water diversions programs for making the blazes worse.


      California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by
      the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount
      of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted
      into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!


      Although decades-old state and federal forest-management policies have sometimes been cited as exacerbating western wildfires in recent years, experts Sunday were quick to refute Trump’s claim that water policy was to blame. A typical scientific response to Trump's Twitter feed Sunday:


      Why don't you ask , youe new adviser, rather than
      spout absolute nonsense? You. Are. Wrong. The only thing bad here
      is your utter failure to grasp rudimentary science.
      he problem is not that the state lacks the water to fight fires, but that years of drought and relentless heat have made forests and brush much more flammable.


      NOAH BERGER VIA GETTY IMAGES
      Flames leap above a vehicle as the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire,
      burns near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday.

      Trump's comment echoed a theme employed several years ago by anti-conservationists against "wacky environmentalists" that blamed the drought and subsequent wildfires on water-diversion policies designed to protect a tiny, endangered fish.

      University of California Merced professor and wildfire specialist LeRoy Westerling told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We do manage all of our rivers in California, and all the water is allocated many times over. So I’m not sure what he (Trump) was recommending. . . ."

      "Even if we eliminated all habitat for riparian species and fish, and allowed saltwater intrusion into the delta and set up a sprinkler system over the state, that wouldn’t compensate for greater moisture loss from climate change.”

      According to the National Inter-Agency Fire Center, wildfires have burned about 5.1 million acres this year, about 1.1 million acres above the 10-year average for the same seven-month period.


      FRED GREAVES / REUTERS
      A DC-10 air tanker drops fire retardant along a ridge line to protect the two bulldozers
      cutting fire breaks at the River Fire on Thursday.


      The Mendocino Complex fire, which includes two blazes along the Mendocino National Forest, had scorched more than 273,600 acres as of Monday morning, threatening 15,000 homes, and is now officially the second-largest* in the state's history. It is only 30 percent contained.

      Meanwhile, the Ferguson fire has entered Yosemite National Park, which remains largely closed to visitors, and the Carr fire near Redding claimed its seventh life, when a PG&E lineman crashed his vehicle while working with crews to fight the blaze. Overall, more than 470,000 acres have burned in the state, with more than 14,000 firefighters on the front lines.

      Last year’s Thomas fire, which consumed 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, remains the state’s largest on record. The Cedar fire in 2003, now the third-largest, devoured 273,246 acres in San Diego County, according to Cal Fire records, an area almost the size of the City of Los Angeles.

      Nine people have been killed by the 18 wildfires currently burning across the state.

      Cal Fire Division Chief Chris Anthony told reporters Monday, “It is hard to find the right words to describe how explosive conditions are throughout the state. It is clear to me that firefighters are on the front lines of climate change”.


      nlike anything firefighters have ever seen before.

      UPDATE: The Mendocino Complex fire is now the largest wildfire in California history.


      "No one would mistake President Trump for an expert on climate change or water policy, but a tweet he issued late Sunday about California’s wildfires deserves some sort of award for most glaring misstatements about those two issues in the smallest number of words".

      - Los Angeles Times - 8/6/2018

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          Ray Cunneff
          2 months ago

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          I truly don't understand why anyone would believe anything Trump says about anything. He just makes stuff and when confronted about his false statements, either he can't remember he said such a thing or he deflects from the question or his usual, whines about the Fake Press. Whoever was pushing that bit about Trump being smart should give me a call because I have some wonderful oceanfront property in Montana I could give them a good deal on.

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              Ray Cunneff
              3 months ago

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                  Ray Cunneff
                  3 months ago

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                  I just wish I could get my Democratic Senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden, on board with prescribed burning of forests. We need to BETTER educate every single legislator and every president too. Or as is the case with Senator Wyden, chastise him in public more - because HE knows better.

                  Is Trump falsely representing wildfires- yep. But it isn't ignorance of the issue that keeps long term legislators who have been told repeatedly what it will take to keep forests healthy - from advocating for more resources that are needed to ongoingly keep our wilderness and national parks and national forests - healthy and sustainable. Prescribed wildfire advocating.

                  Why isn't the US Forest Service today doing a good enough job - making sure all legislators, governors, presidents, mayors, etc are on board with what it will take to maintain healthy forests and grasslands in every state? Danger. Danger. Danger - always. When you decide to develop too close to any fuel source. It's just a matter of time.

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                      Dala Horse
                      2 months ago

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                      Prescribed burning is almost a seperate issue to property loss.

                      Another potential solution ;

                      If properties are surrounded by a clearance the fires can burn past them without destroying them. Rainwater should to be collected stored for irrigation too imo.

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                              Dala Horse
                              3 months ago

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                              FYI .....

                              Some "back fires " have created fires that went out of control ....

                              Most people "in the know" ....

                              Feel that mother nature will do the work the best ....

                              Unfortunately we have lots of crazies who want to do the work for her !

                              Arsons are a bad thing !

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                                      Ray Cunneff
                                      3 months ago

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                                      The one thing that could be done to minimise the effect of such fires is to clear out the underbrush prior to summers. If that isn't there, the fires don't get to be firestorms. You will still get fires, but they could be easier to control.

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                                          Ian Miller
                                          3 months ago

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                                          Easier said than done. All homeowners and other property owners in fire-prone areas are required to clear a "defensible space" around their properties, but the enormity of the areas involved and the rugged terrain make what you're suggesting a near impossibility.

                                          Right now, crews are battling the "Holy Fire" in the Cleveland National Forest near Corona that took off overnight in an area that cannot be reached by road or foot, yet is bearing down on foothill communities. A fire like this can only be fought by air, helicopters or tankers, and they are often grounded by darkness or poor visibility.

                                          Extraordinarily high heat and prolonged drought have created explosive tinderbox conditions and even slight winds could fan this into a disastrous conflagration. These fires create their own winds which are then exacerbated by the topography.

                                          One final thought. This is no longer a "summer" situation. This fire season will continue into December and in fact is becoming close to a year-round danger.

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                                                  Ray Cunneff
                                                  3 months ago

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                                                  LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) — Twin Northern California blazes fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather grew Monday to become the largest wildfire in state history, becoming the norm as climate change makes the fire season longer and more severe.

                                                  The two fires burning a few miles apart and known as the Mendocino Complex are being treated as one incident. It has scorched 283,800 acres (443.4 square miles or 1,148.4 square kilometers), fire officials said Monday.

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                                                      opie
                                                      3 months ago

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                                                      I can't believe the length of time and the sheer acreage being eaten up by wildfires in California. I wish for rain in the forecast. I fear that is the only thing that will finally extinguish all of this.

                                                      Where is the Forest Service Chief today - is she meeting with the President? If not - why not? He is clearly not getting the information he needs in regard to wildfire management and ultimately more prescribed burning ongoingly from here on out. Spreading misinformation, Mr. President - is the absolutely wrong thing to do - especially seeing how this issue of wildfires on public lands and inside of forested lands that is eating into residential communities because we do develop right up to the edge of mother nature in every state in our union - will still be ALL OF OUR PROBLEM - long after President Trump has come and gone.

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