- President Donald Trump said during a television briefing in Sacramento on Monday that "explosive trees" may have helped fuel the record-breaking wildfires.
- Trees don't spontaneously go up in flames, so it's unclear what exactly Trump meant.
- But Trump has long argued that if the forests were cleared of dead trees, leaves and debris, forest fires could be stopped.
- Scientists have said that climate change can lead to drier and warmer conditions Put regions at higher risk of forest fires.
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President Donald Trump made the false claim that "explosive" trees helped fuel California's record-breaking forest fires.
During a televised briefing in Sacramento Monday, he said dry trees can "just explode" as part of a longstanding argument that forest fires would be eliminated when the forests were cleared of dead trees and debris.
"You can't do anything with this" Said Trump. "You are going to Europe … They are very, very strong in management and they have no problem. With – as they say – more explosive trees than we are in California."
He doubled the statement when he called "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday morningand said, "In Europe they have forest cities … they don't have such fires and they have more explosive trees. They have trees that are easier to catch, but they keep their fire going … They dilute the fuel. The fuel is what's on the ground, the leaves. "
More than 85 major fires are currently burning along the west coast from California to Washington. Fires burned more than a million acres in California this year and forced thousands of people out of their homes.
It is unclear what Trump meant when he said trees "explode" because trees don't spontaneously burst into flames. Officials say the current fires were caused by a number of things, of lightning strikes to an explosive gender reveal party that went wrong.
The scientific community has said that climate change can lead to drier and warmer conditions that Put regions like California at higher risk of forest fires.
"If we ignore this science and bury our heads in the sand thinking that it's all about vegetation management, we won't be able to protect Californians together," California Secretary for Natural Resources, Wade Crawfoot, told Trump during the Briefings.
In August, Trump blamed California for the wildfires that swept the state and said he would Withhold federal funds if officials don't "clean up" forests.
After Trump proposed raking forests last year, Chris Field, director of the Stanford Wood Institute for the Environment, said the Associated Press that cleaning residue shouldn't be the main solution.
"Yes. I agree with the president that fuel economy and fire breaks are important," he said at the time. "But they're just the beginning. We also need to upgrade homes and businesses to make them more fireproof, improve defensible spaces around buildings, and limit ignitions, including from failed power lines."