President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold Federal Emergency Management Agency money to help California cope with wildfires if the state doesn't improve its forest management practices.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that California gets billions of dollars for fires that could have been prevented with better management. The state's former top firefighter Ken Pimlott disagrees, saying last month that California leads the nation in clearing away dead trees and thinning areas to remove fuel for fires.
The dispute comes a day after Newsom joined the governors of Washington and Oregon in sending a letter to Trump asking for more federal dollars to clean up forests.
California lawmakers last year approved a fresh $1 billion over five years for forest management activities.
Newsom discussed that letter and other investments he plans to make in fire safety at a Tuesday event in the fire-prone Sierra Nevada foothills. He praised Trump then for quickly providing disaster relief money in the past.
Trump tweeted that "unless they get their act together ... I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) said in a press release that although he share's the president's frustration with California's environmental regulations, threats to FEMA funding are not helpful "and will not solve the longer term forest management regulatory problems."
"These are American citizens who require our help," LaMalfa continued. "I will continue to work in Congress, and with the Administration to ensure we have the funds needed to recover from these disasters."
November's fire in the northern California town of Paradise was the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, killing at least 85 people and destroying nearly 14,000 homes.
If you're viewing on the ABC10 App, tap here for multimedia.