'Cruel and dangerous': CA firefighters union president rips Trump for 'ill-informed' accusation of 'poor forest management'
A firefighter (L) speaks to an inmate firefighter as they prepare to put out flames on the road leading to the Reagan Library during the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, California on October 30, 2019 (Photo: AFP / Mark RALSTON)

This past Sunday, President Trump roiled Californians with a series of tweets attacking Governor Gavin Newsom, blaming his alleged "terrible job of forest management" for the fires that have burned throughout the state over the last week.


"I told him from the first day we met that he must 'clean' his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him," Trump tweeted, echoing accusations he made almost exactly a year ago. As with last year, experts are pointing out that Trump's complaints of "poor forest management" are devoid of the facts.

Speaking out this Tuesday was California Professional Firefighters (CPF) President Brian Rice, who issued a statement saying "any suggestion that disaster assistance for fire victims and firefighting efforts could be withheld because of the state’s forest practices is ill-informed, cruel and dangerous."

“The most destructive fires currently burning in our state started within the wildland-urban interface, not our forests," Rice's statement read. "It is in these areas where the risk, and the potential loss of life and property, are the greatest."

“Many of the victims of California’s wildfires live in smaller, rural communities," he continued. "Any attempt to withhold disaster assistance would be especially devastating for the people living in communities our firefighters are risking their lives to protect."

Rice went on to say that although forest management does decrease overall fire risk, 60 percent of California's forests are under federal protection, "yet the federal government has reduced support for forest management in California."

"Instead of raking California over the coals, we’d encourage Washington to reverse this worrisome funding trend."

In November of last year, Rice lashed out at the President for making similar comments regarding fires that broke out in Southern California, telling NBC News at the time that firefighters “and the communities in this state deserve an apology” from Trump.

In a subsequent interview with local news outlet KCRA3, Rice got a little more specific.

“You’re an idiot,” Rice said, referring to Trump. “And you should have never said that, and you should take the time before you speak. Words are very powerful.”

Trump continued his attacks on California this Monday night at a rally in Lexington, Kentucky, calling Los Angeles a "third-world city."