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Trump’s tweets on California fires disgrace to firefighters

November 13, 2018

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Trump’s tweets on California fires disgrace to firefighters

President Donald Trump continues to cross the line on his Twitter account. After the news of the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire broke, Trump took to Twitter to blame California and its poor “forest management skills.” “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” Politics should not be spoken of in times of crisis. People of California have lost everything in these fires and Trump continues to blame the state.

The Camp Fire in Butte County has destroyed the entire town of Paradise, California, and has so far taken the lives of 42 people and is only 30 percent contained. The Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura County is only 35 percent contained so far. These fires put peoples’ lives at risk and firefighters from roughly 10 states are working day and night to keep our communities safe. Our commander in chief is more concerned about cutting federal funding rather than being concerned for our firefighters, the public and our homes. Trump has said and done some rather profane things as president, but this is just a slap in the face to firefighters and first responders. As someone who comes from a family of firemen, the second I saw this tweet I was immediately enraged.

Trump does not know what it is like to have your father leave for multiple weeks on a strike team to battle the blazes of a wildfire; not having any communication with him until the department informs you he is on his way back. He does not know what it is like to sit at home and wonder whereabouts in the fire your family members are. It can be hard to understand when you are not part of the “fire family,” but basic human compassion helps the families of the firefighters  as well as the victims of these fires. Wildfires are not red or blue, they are not left or right and they do not discriminate. They will take everything and anything in their path, regardless of how much “federal funding” the state may or may not receive. More than 4,000 firefighters have come together to fight both of these fires. Trump’s tweet is badly timed, but when aren’t they?

It is frustrating knowing that our president does not consider the lives of firefighters, the lives lost in these wildfires and the houses left destroyed. In times of crisis, it is important for us all to come together as a state and as a nation to support and help the victims of these fires. After much backlash from Californians and firefighters, Trump’s tweets took a turn on Nov. 10, saying, “More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres. Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”

It is disappointing that it took a statewide backlash to change the president’s perception of the damage these fires have caused. People are mourning the loss of their homes and communities and Trump’s tweets go to show that his heart truly is not in the right place. Our firefighters will always put their lives on the line, they will always serve and protect and they will always treat everyone as their own. May the fires get contained, lives get saved and our firefighters return home unharmed.

Donations for victims can be made at http://www.cafirefoundation.org/programs/supplying-aid-to-victims-of-emergency/

Journalism major at SF State
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