Trump slams California forest management during 1st debate as wildfires rage on

57% of the state's forest land is "owned or managed" by the federal government, according to State Sen. Mike McGuire, who represents California's North Coast.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- President Donald Trump took aim at California's "forest management" during Tuesday's presidential debate, saying every year he gets a call that the state is burning, and that just isn't something that should continue to happen.

"You know, at some point, you can't, every year, have hundreds of thousands of acres of land just burned to the ground," Trump said.

California firefighters are battling nearly 30 wildfires in the state, including the Glass Fire in the Napa Valley and the Zogg Fire in Shasta County which have burned more than 100,000 acres, collectively, according to CAL FIRE.

RELATED: Glass Fire live updates: Napa County communities threatened as Red Flag Warning is issued

The latest wildfires to ravage the state come on the heels of some of the largest fires in California's history, including the LNU Lightning Complex and the SCU Lightning Complex fires, both of which burned in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A question during Tuesday's debate from moderator Chris Wallace prompted the president's claims on fire and forest mismanagement in California.

"Do you believe that human pollution, gas, greenhouse gas emissions contributes to the global warming of the planet?" Wallace asked.

"I think a lot of things do but I think, to an extent, yes. I think, to an extent, yes. But I also think we have to do better management of our forests," the president answered.

RELATED: Bay Area braces for extreme fire conditions and intense heat wave as Glass Fire continues to rage

The president said if the forests were cleaned, the annual wildfires in California wouldn't happen.

"If that was cleaned, if that were - if you had forest management, good forest management, you wouldn't be getting those calls," Trump said.

Fifty-seven percent of the state's forest land is "owned or managed" by the federal government, according to State Sen. Mike McGuire, who represents California's North Coast.




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That statement mirrors what the president said in August on California wildfires.

"And I see again, the forest fires are starting," Trump said Aug. 20 at an event in Pennsylvania. "They're starting again in California. And I said, you've got to clean your floors. You've got to clean your floors."

At that time, the president blamed the "years" of leaves and broken trees for the fires.

RELATED: President Trump calls Oakland 'violent' during 1st debate, claims democrats are to blame

The president also referenced Gov. Gavin Newsom during Tuesday's debate.

"I spoke with the governor about it. I'm getting along very well with the governor," Trump said.

The Associated Press reports nearly 70,000 residents are under evacuation orders due to the Glass Fire

Four people have been killed in Shasta County's Zogg Fire, as of Wednesday.

Much of the land burning in the latest round of California wildfires resides under federal ownership.

RELATED: First presidential debate: Chaos as Trump, Biden lash, interrupt each other

The state's largest wildfire, the August Complex, is burning in the Mendocino National Forest and the Creek Fire in the Central Valley is burning in the Sierra National Forest.

The North Complex Fire in Butte County has burned nearly 315,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest.

Watch the president's full statement in the media player above.

Get the latest updates and videos on wildfires burning across the Bay Area here.

VIDEO: Photos show scope of Bay Area wildfires' devastation
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See scenes from the LNU Lightning Complex Fire and other fires burning in the Bay Area this month.

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