Trump threatens funds for California over forest fires

 Trump threatens funds for California over forest fires

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump sounded a tough note on California's land and fire management on Wednesday, a year after some of the worst blazes the state has ever seen, threatening to stop billions of dollars of federal funding if California does not clean up its forests to reduce the risk of fire.

“It's hurting our budget, it’s hurting our country and they better get their act together,” Trump said at a cabinet meeting, aiming his remarks at California Governor Jerry Brown, whom he has frequently criticized over immigration and other policies.

Earlier this week, California's largest public utility cut off power to about 60,000 customers for up to two days as high winds threatened to topple trees and power lines. The cuts were aimed at preventing wildfires such as those that erupted in the state's wine country last fall.

Reuters could not immediately reach the California governor's office or the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) for comment.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bernadette Baum)

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Updated Date: Oct 18, 2018 00:08:02 IST