Former President Donald Trump.
AP Photo/John Locher
Donald Trump suggested that California keep its vast forests damp to prevent wildfire.
Trump said he would “get it done so fast” but added that Gov. Newsom probably couldn’t be convinced.
The former president also criticized the state for “very poor land management.”
Former President Donald Trump revealed an unusual plan to stop wildfires from raging in California.
Trump suggested that the Golden State’s rougly 33 million acres of forest should be kept damp while speaking at a California Republicans’ convention in Anaheim on Friday.
“They say that there’s so much water up north that I want to have the overflow areas go into your forests and dampen your forests, because if you dampen your forests you’re not gonna have these forest fires that are burning at levels that nobody’s ever seen,” Trump said to a cheering crowd.
“All the currently dry canals will be brimming and used to irrigate everything, including your own homes and bathrooms and everything, you’re going to be happy, and I’m going to get it done fast,” he added.
The former president also took the opportunity to criticize the state for “very poor land management.”
Trump has previously falsely claimed that California wildfires were sparked by trees that “explode,” and he has long subscribed to the theory that wildfires could be prevented if forests were cleared of dead trees and debris.
In 2018, Trump suggested raking leaves on forest floors could help prevent fires.
While accumulated debris is part of the problem, California is prone to wildfires because of its high population density and its predominantly dry, warm climate.
“California has a lot of people and a really long dry season,” Park Williams, a bioclimatologist and associate research professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told The New York Times.
“People are always creating possible sparks, and as the dry season wears on and stuff is drying out more and more, the chance that a spark comes off a person at the wrong time just goes up. And that’s putting aside arson,” he added.
Trump did not provide further details about his damp forests plan, but he said California Governor Gavin Newsom would probably roadblock him.
“I couldn’t convince this guy Gavin,” he said.