- President Donald Trump said Monday during a televised briefing in Sacramento that “explosive trees” may have helped fuel the record fires.
- Trees don’t ignite spontaneously, so it’s not clear exactly what Trump meant.
- But Trump has long argued that the fires could be eliminated if the forests were cleared of dead trees, leaves and debris.
- Scientists said climate change can lead to drier and warmer conditions that expose regions to greater fire risks.
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President Donald Trump has made the false claim that “explosive”
Speaking at a televised briefing in Sacramento on Monday, he said dry trees can “explode,” as part of a longstanding discussion that fires would be eliminated if forests were cleared of dead trees and debris.
“You can’t reduce it to nothing” Trump said. “Go to Europe … They are very, very strong in management, and they have no problems. With – as they say – more explosive trees than we have in California.”
He doubled the bid when he called “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning, saying, “In Europe they have forest cities … they don’t have fires like this, and they have more explosive trees. They have trees that will catch easier, but they keep their fire … They dilute the fuel. Fuel is what there is. it’s on the ground, the leaves “.
More than 85 major wildfires are currently burning up and down the west coast from California to Washington. Fires burned more than a million acres in California this year and forced thousands of people to flee their homes.
It is not clear what Trump meant when he said that trees “explode”, because trees do not spontaneously burn into flames. Officials say the current fires were caused by a number of things, from lightning strikes to an explosive revelation party gone bad.
The scientific community has said that climate change can lead to drier, warmer conditions that expose regions like California to greater fire risks.
“If we ignore that science and put our heads in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we won’t be able to protect Californians together,” California Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crawfoot told Trump during. the briefing.
In August, Trump blamed California for the fires that ravaged the state, saying he would withhold federal funds if officials didn’t “clean” the forests.
After Trump suggested raking forests last year, Chris Field, director of the Stanford Wood Institute for the Environment, told The Associated Press that cleaning up debris shouldn’t be the main solution.
“Yes. I agree with the president that fuel cuts and fire outages are important,” he said at the time. “But they are just the beginning. We also need to improve homes and businesses to make them more resistant to fire, improve defensible spaces around buildings and limit ignition, even from downed power lines.”