Donald Trump Says Trees Just Explode, Causing Wildfires

Before being briefed on wildfires Monday, Donald Trump offered wild theories on the causes. Though the wildfires are predominantly on Federal land, he blamed state agencies for failing to carry out sufficient forest management. Then, he declared that fallen trees “just explode.”

Donald Trump exploding trees
[Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Trump was speaking about wildfires in California, Washington, and Oregon when he began ad-libbing, and quickly went from forest management to asserting that trees fall over and then explode.

When trees fall down. After a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry, they become really like a matchstick, and they get up, you know, there’s no more water pouring through, and they become very very uh, they just explode. They can explode. Also, leaves! When you have years of leaves, dried leaves on the ground, it just sets it up. It’s really a fuel for a fire. So they have to do something about it. They also have to do cuts. I mean people don’t like to do cuts, but they have to do cuts in between. So if you do have a fire, and it gets away, you’ll have a fifty-yard cut in between. So it won’t be able to catch to the other side. They don’t do that.

Later, during his wildfire briefing, Trump returned to the “explosive trees” idea, saying that European countries manage their forests better than the U.S., and therefore don’t have the same problems with wildfires, despite having “as they say, more explosive trees than we have in California.”

While Trump keeps pointing his finger at the Democratic leadership in California, NBC pointed out previously that 57% of the forest land in the state of California actually belongs to, and is managed by, the Federal government. As for thinning forests, according to Mercury News, the state and federal government agreed earlier this year to a five-year plan to thin out a million acres, and to come up with a 20-year plan for ongoing efforts.

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