Trump's Claim on Calif. Wildfires 'Boggles the Mind'

No, the state's water is not being dumped in the Pacific, an expert says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2018 8:37 AM CDT
Firefighters battle a flare-up near Buckhorn Summit on Highway 299 during the Carr Fire in Trinity County, Calif., on July 30, 2018.   (Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee via AP)

(Newser) – President Trump on Sunday addressed the devastation wrought by the latest California wildfires, the Hill reports. "California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized," he tweeted. "It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!" But MarketWatch says his tweet "befuddled experts," noting that the state's water supply and how it's used isn't to blame for worsening blazes. For one, the water isn't being dumped into the Pacific, and firefighters do appear to have plenty of water, per a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection rep—but trees and brush have become more flammable due to the state's years-long drought.

"We do manage all of our rivers in California, and all the water is allocated many times over," wildfire expert LeRoy Westerling tells the San Francisco Chronicle. "So I'm not sure what [Trump] was recommending. … It boggles the mind." Westerling points the blame for making the fires worse at "ongoing warming and accelerated climate change."

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