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Trump blames California wildfires on mismanagement, says he’ll halt FEMA funding

With the confirmed death toll at 71 and the list of unaccounted for people more than 1,000, authorities in Northern California on Friday searched for those who perished and those who survived the fiercest of wildfires ahead of a planned visit by President Donald Trump.

A firefighter searches for human remains in a trailer park destroyed in the Camp Fire on Nov. 16, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. | AP Photo/John Locher

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.

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!”

Pimlott left his post as director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection last month after more than 30 years with the agency.

“No other state, or even the federal government, are putting the amount of investment into this space as California,” Pimlott said in December after Trump again┬áblamed forest mismanagement for the fires.

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.