Trump claims he's cutting FEMA aid for California wildfires

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom elected governor of California

Trump claims he's cutting FEMA aid for California wildfires

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cut off wildfire relief aid for fire-scorched California until state officials "get their act together" and do a better job of managing forests.

The President has since deleted the original tweet and reposted it with the proper spelling of "forest" - removing what Twitter users couldn't resist teasing was a reference to iconic 1994 Oscar-winning film starring Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump.

"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money", the president declared. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives and money!"

The president's comments come as California continues to rebuild following the most deadly and destructive fire in the state's history.

Critics on social media questioned whether Trump could legally withhold FEMA money that has already been appropriated.

FEMA is running on a thin staff because of the partial government shutdown.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who was sworn in this week, was quick to fire back at Trump, tweeting that disaster and recovery periods are "no time for politics" and claiming he was "already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses".

Trump has blamed the state's devastating infernos on everything from a lack of raking to a nonexistent water shortage resulting from "bad environmental laws".

However, Fugate said that federal law gives Trump the authority to determine whether to issue disaster declarations for future wildfires.

However, Newsom also took aim at Trump in his inauguration speech, saying he wanted to "offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House".

Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, said in November: "We're in extreme climate change now".

California has suffered a series of increasingly massive, deadly blazes in the past two years that have destroyed homes and businesses and put burnt areas at a greater risk of mudslides.

Newsom also pitched an additional $105 million to help California prevent and battle wildfires.

Much of California's forests is federally managed or privately owned, putting them outside the state's authority to manage.

Writing on Twitter, Pelosi blasted Trump, saying his "threat insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires past year & thousands more who lost their homes".

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