Trump hails Finnish forest management

Clay Curtis
November 19, 2018

But asked if he had made that case to Trump, he said: "I certainly raised it but I didn't feel that that was where we needed to go", then added that science would be the guide for analysing the fires "and the president in no way negated that".

President Donald Trump's weird advice on "raking and cleaning" forest floors to prevent wildfires may not have originated with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö as he claimed.

Mr Trump praised the emergency services.

Mr Niinisto told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat raking had not come up when they talked in Paris.

He said he remembered telling the president that "we take care of our forests", but has no recollection of the subject of raking being brought up. And besides, 80% of the country is classified as forest land.

The online reaction in Finland alternated between those pointing out that the country has a vastly different climate and population density and those making jokes.

Wherever Trump got the notion that raking parts of California - be it entire forest floors or the area around little nut trees - could have prevented the Camp Fire, not many people seem to agree.

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The liberal New York Daily News headlined its front page "Make America rake again", in a play on Mr Trump's election slogan...

An army of Finns posted photographs showing how they spent their weekends, rake in hand, working to prevent forest fires.

"The fire was right over there and they were raking trees, little trees like this, nut trees, little bushes that you could see were totally dry, weeds".

Firefighters in Northern California have mixed thoughts on President Donald Trump's criticism of forest management but say their main focus is fighting the blaze.

In his first comments about the California disaster on Twitter, rather than offering condolences, the President threatened to withdraw federal payments and blamed the state's "gross mismanagement" for the fires.

This is despite the US Government being responsible for 57 per cent of the state's forests.

"His [Mr Trump's] general sentiment is correct - that we need to manage fuels", she said.

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