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California’s Paradise Lost

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One problem with President Trump’s bullying rhetorical style is that he gives his critics reason to ignore him even when he has a point. Consider his weekend threat to yank federal funds from California amid its horrific wildfires.

Three fires are raging across the state, killing at least 31 people and scorching more than 200,000 acres, including the town of Paradise in the Sierra Nevada foothills. “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

Mr. Trump has no empathy gene even if he is right about forestry ills. Relentless winds and low air moisture make California’s fires harder to contain while development is putting more people in danger. But also fueling the fires is an overgrown government bureaucracy that frustrates proper forest management.

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Editorial Board – Wall Street Journal – November 12, 2018.

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