‘Terrible job’: Donald Trump threatens California over wildfires

Los Angeles: US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut US funding to California for aid during wildfires that have burned across the state.

Flames from a backfire consume a hillside as firefighters battle the Maria Fire in Santa Paula, California. Credit:AP

Trump tweeted saying California governor Gavin Newsom has done a "terrible job of forest management". He said the governor comes to the federal government for help every year when fires rage.

He added: "No more."

Newsom replied with a tweet of his own: "You don't believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation."

Neither of the two major fires burning in California are on forest land.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has defended his state against US President Donald Trump.Credit:AP

The state controls a small percentage of forest land. The federal government manages most of it.

Meanwhile, authorities lifted all evacuation orders as progress was being made on a large wildfire north west of Los Angeles.

Firefighters contained 50 per cent of that fire, which has burned nearly 40 square kilometres and forced nearly 11,000 people to evacuate.

Crews working in steep areas were battling hotspots amid lingering winds, county fire captain Steve Kaufmann said.

Last year Trump made a similar threat as wildfires devastated Malibu and Paradise, California, accusing the state of "gross mismanagement" of forests.

At the time, Newsom defended California's wildfire prevention efforts while criticising the federal government for not doing enough to help protect the state.

In Northern California, more people were allowed to return to areas evacuated over a huge fire that was burning for days in the Sonoma County wine country.

The 300 square km fire was 76 per cent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.


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