Trump criticizes California's handling of wildfires, says 'they don't listen to us'

ByKayla Galloway KGO logo
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Trump criticizes CA handling of wildfires: 'They don't listen to us'
President Donald Trump had harsh words about California's wildfires during a speech Thursday in Scranton, Pennsylvania. "Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay for it," he said. "Because they don't listen to us."

SCRANTON, Pa. -- During his remarks in Pennsylvania Thursday, President Donald Trump addressed the California wildfires, which have burned hundreds of thousands of acres statewide.

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

The president blamed the "years" of leaves and broken trees, claiming "they're like, like so flammable."

During his speech in Scranton, Pa., Trump said, "I've been telling them this now for three years, but they don't want to listen," referencing California.

The president then threatened the state over its handling of the crisis.

RELATED: Here's what you need to know about all the fires burning in the Bay Area

"Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay for it, because they don't listen to us. We say you got to get rid of the leaves," Trump said.

Trump referenced the wildfires as "forest fires," though much of the burned land is in suburban regions of the Bay Area, like Vacaville in Solano County and parts of Napa and Sonoma counties.

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The LNU Lightning Complex fires have burned a collective 131,000 acres, according to latest estimates from CAL FIRE.

That fire is burning in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Lake and Yolo counties.

The state's largest fire is the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, which stands at just more than 137,000 acres.

RELATED: LIVE: Track air quality levels impacted by smoke from San Francisco Bay Area wildfires

More than two dozen major fires are burning in the state following a lightning siege over the weekend.

The Associated Press reports there are more than 10,000 firefighters on the front lines of the fire fight - some working 72-hour shifts rather than 24 hours.

Trump's remarks Thursday come as Democrats prepare for the final day of their virtual national convention.

The president's event in Pennsylvania was in candidate Joe Biden's hometown, where the former vice president grew up.

Watch Trump's full remarks above.

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

VIDEO: Video shows terrifying escape through flames of LNU Lightning Complex fires

As if the call to evacuate wasn't scary enough, the road out was harrowing. One evacuee in Winters, Calif. recorded this as he drove through the fire while evacuating.