Fresno County supervisor: forest management needs work, but feds should still help


President Donald Trump putting himself in the hotseat again with a tweet. This time, attacking California’s forest management and calling it the reason the state’s fires have been so massive. He followed it with a threat — either figure it out, or get no funding. A Fresno County supervisor doesn’t completely disagree with the president, but said more could be done federally on the issue.

A new batch of fires devastating California are breaking records in the worst way. After Trump’s tweet, the union California Professional Firefighters released a statement from its president, Brian Rice.

It called the president’s words “ill-timed” and “demeaning,” reading in part, “The president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires.”

Fresno County supervisor Nathan Magsig, who represents District 5, said now is not the time to be pointing fingers.

“What we need to be focusing on is how do we fix this problem. How do we make sure that this problem doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Magsig represents the eastern Fresno County communities living in high-risk fire areas. He agrees with Trump, in that the state has mismanaged its forests.

However, he argues the forests — most of them federally-owned — should be turned over to local control. Also, the government should work more closely with local entities.

“What I would like to see at the federal level is for the U.S. Forest Service, as well as the U.S. Park Service, working more closely with us at the local level. We need to coordinate efforts and actively be thinning our forests,” Magsig said.

Saturday’s Twitter exchange comes just a day after Acting Governor Gavin Newsom said Trump and FEMA granted the state’s request for federal help on these fires.

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