By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Wildfires have suddenly engulfed the southern California coast and a northern California inland region not too far from where the Redding fire torched the area earlier this year.  While the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire just north of Los Angeles are burning through areas all the way to the beach in places like Malibu, the Camp Fire in the north, the largest of the three, is literally wiping out entire towns.

Thousands of structures have burned statewide, the death toll is currently at eleven (UPDATE: Death Toll at 31 – One America News reporting on November 13, death toll of the Camp Fire that wiped out an entire town at 42.  UPDATE 11/18/2018 – Death Toll at 76, hundreds still missing.  UPDATE: On the early morning of November 19, Fox News reported over 80 dead), and in the town of Paradise due north of Sacramento, 90% of the homes have burned down, and the town has been leveled.  This may be the end of Paradise’s 150 year run.

Prior to the fire, the population of Paradise was over 26,000 people.  The Sierra Nevada foothills community didn’t even have time to flee, many residents had to drive along flame engulfed roadways to get away from the devastation.

The rapidity of the advancement of the fires into, and through, various towns have been primarily fueled by high winds, and in the case of northern California, a thick underbrush.

For conservatives, the underbrush is believed to be out of control because of environmental policies.

So far this year in the State of Oregon, for example, the cost of fighting wildfires has reached an all-time high $514.6 million.

Oregon’s 2018 cost skyrocketed past last year’s record-setting total of $447 million.

According to a person I spoke to in Gold Beach, Oregon, the fires have emerged in force since legislators have imposed limits on logging that has kept loggers out of certain “protected” areas.  Those same regions have been burning over the last two years.

“When the loggers go into an area, contrary to popular environmentalist opinion, they don’t clear-cut, the selectively log, taking one out of three trees.  They, then, plant two in place of the cut down tree.  After all, they want a thriving forest as well.  More trees means more work, more lumber, and more profit.  Anyway, when they log, to get to those trees, they clear the underbrush.  Now that logging has been prohibited in certain areas, the undergrowth is thicker than ever, making the areas more susceptible to the threat of wildfires.”

If my source is correct, the environmentalists are causing a shortage of lumber (which hurts the local, and countrywide, economy), and they are costing the State of Oregon hundreds of millions of dollars  each year to fight the consequential fires.

“What made it so expensive,” said Carol Connolly, information officer for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC), “was having so many large wildfires that lasted not just weeks but months.”

With the added fuel in the form of underbrush in play, it’s not surprising that the fires lasted longer.

Oregon has had 1,880 fires that burned 846,411 acres or 1,322 square miles — an area larger than Rhode Island.

President Trump agrees that environmentalist polices, which have led to forestry mismanagement, is largely the cause of the increase in wildfires in The West.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to blame “gross mismanagement of the forest” for the catastrophe and threatened to withhold federal funds if the issue is not remedied. 

It was his first tweet on the wildfires, now among the deadliest and most destructive in California history, although he earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds for Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. 

At least nine people have been killed and the entire town of Paradise, in northern California has been destroyed. 

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” 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!”

This is not the first time President Trump has blamed the wildfire problem on the Left Coast on environmentalist influences on lawmakers.  Last August President Trump pointed out that the wildfire problem in California is largely due to “bad environmental laws.”  He also voiced his disapproval of Sacramento’s Democrat Party policy of depriving southern California of water because it’s “foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

On Saturday, Trump also said on Twitter that California wildfires “are being magnified; made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized.”

Here in California a large amount of water is being diverted into the ocean in an effort to protect the Delta Smelt fish, which isn’t even native to the Golden State.  Meanwhile, irrigation for farming has been shut down, turning the Central Valley from what was once the bread basked of the world into a dust bowl.

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