Fueling the Fire

Slate

On Saturday morning, Donald Trump tweeted about the wildfires currently burning in both Northern and Southern California: “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!”

It’s not very clear what he’s talking about, but we can hazard a guess. His administration, through its secretaries of agriculture and the interior, seems to equate “forest management” with logging. If that is what Trump is saying—that California has fires because it hasn’t removed enough trees—the tweet is written either in ignorance or misdirection. Logging is more often a cause of fires than a cure. Besides, the current California fires are not even in forests.