Trump hails Finnish forest management


19 November, 2018

The Nordic country's leader recalled telling Trump "we take care of our forests", but couldn't recall any specific mention of raking.

"You've got to take care of the floors". And when it is, it's a very small problem, ' Trump added.

Over the weekend, Trump claimed that Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told him that raking was the key to his country's success in preventing forest fires, although Niinistö has denied he ever told Trump anything about raking. "We are going to have to work quickly".

Maybe it wasn't Niinisto who gave Trump the raking idea.

Asked whether the scenes of devastation had changed his view on climate change, Trump said: "No".

"It seems many more people are missing than anyone thought even possible", Trump told reporters from the White House South Lawn shortly before boarding the Marine One helicopter to fly to Joint Base Andrews.

Trump caught some flack after he praised the European country's alleged method for preventing catastrophic wildfires while he was surveying the damage in Paradise, California on Saturday.

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Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea pleaded with fire evacuees to check the list of people reported as unreachable by family and friends and to call in if they are safe. Trump told Fox News from the Oval Office on Friday - before he left for California.

Donald Trump has once again raised eyebrows after suggesting the humble rake could solve the problem of California wildfires that have killed at least 76 people in recent days.

California's problems are complicated, she said - a combination of hot, dry climates, poor community design and "100 years of fire suppression" that helped turn forests into tinder boxes.

The president also visited devastated Malibu but declined to comment on whether climate change specifically was behind the wildfires.

"His general sentiment is correct - that we need to manage fuels", said Yana Valachovic, a forest adviser with the University of California's Cooperative Extension program.

Mr Niinisto told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat raking had not come up when they talked in Paris. "And if you don't know this, if you really don't know this, man, everybody needs to start rethinking what you're saying and how you're saying it because you sure don't give a damn about the people in California".

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