Trump blames 'gross mismanagement' for deadly California wildfires

President Trump early Saturday blamed the fast-growing California wildfires on "gross mismanagement" of the state's forests, threatening to withdraw federal funding.
"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor," Trump tweeted from Paris early Saturday morning. "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!"
Trump's first comments about the massive wildfires came hours after he declared a state of emergency for California, allowing federal assistance to supplement local response as three major wildfires burn across the state.
State officials late Friday announced that at least nine people have died in a deadly Northern California blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire. The flames incinerated most of Paradise, Calif., destroying 6,453 homes and another 260 commercial structures, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, separate fires in Southern California prompted evacuation orders for more than 200,000 people. In Los Angeles County, the 35,000-acre Woolsey Fire threatened 75,000 homes early Saturday, Reuters reported. The smaller Hill Fire in Ventura County had burned about 6,000 acres as of Friday evening, Cal Fire officials told the outlet.
Officials have not publicly stated a cause for what sparked the Southern California fire, though strong winds have been blamed widely for stoking the fire through the area's canyon and ridgetop communities, the AP noted.
Firefighter radio transmissions reviewed by Bay Area News Group suggested Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) power lines may have started the Camp Fire, The Mercury News reported. 
PG&E, in a filing Friday to California's Public Utilities Commission, acknowledged that it had detected a downed transmission line about 15 minutes before the blaze was reported, according to Mercury News. The filing notes that PG&E discovered damage to a transmission tower on that line "in the area of the Camp Fire," the outlet reported.
PG&E said late Friday that it would cooperate with any investigations stemming from the Northern California fire. A spokeswoman for the utility told the AP Friday that the information was preliminary, adding that the cause of the blaze has not been determined.
A city reeling from the tragedy of a mass shootingwas under a siege of a different sort Friday as raging wildfires on both sides of the city forced widespread evacuations and shut down part of the main freeway to town.
Flames driven by powerful winds torched at least 150 homes in Southern California, prompting orders for 250,000 people -- including some celebrities -- to flee as the fire marched across the Santa Monica Mountains toward the sea. The cause of the blazes was not known.
For Thousand Oaks, which had been considered one of the safest cities in the nation before a gunman massacred 12 people at a country music bar, the spasm of violence jolted the city's sense of security. Encroaching flames, despite the near-constant threat of fire in the bone-dry state, presented an entirely different hazard.
"It's devastating. It's like 'welcome to hell,'" resident Cynthia Ball said about the dual disasters while she was outside the teen center serving as a shelter for evacuees. "I don't even know what to say. It's like we're all walking around kind of in a trance."
A day earlier, the facility had been the location where grieving family members had gathered and received the grim news on the fate of loved ones who had not returned from the Borderline Bar and Grill, where a Marine combat veteran went on a shooting rampage Wednesday. The investigation into what drove 28-year-old Ian David Long to kill was continuing even as the city about 40 miles from Los Angeles was under threat. Three-quarters of the city of 130,000 was under evacuation orders, and that likely included people affected by the shooting, Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox said.
"Here we are just a few hours later talking now about another crisis right here in Thousand Oaks," Fox said, making the distinction that the shooting victims and their families had experienced a permanent loss. "Those lives will never be recovered. Tonight we're talking about a serious fire situation, but thankfully we have not lost a single life. And as difficult as it may be, homes can be rebuilt, property can be reacquired." 



In the city, flames creeping down a hillside were visible from a teen center on Janss Road.
Evacuees described harrowing escapes from flames that picked up unexpectedly Thursday afternoon. At the Vallecito mobile home park for seniors, the fire came so quickly that residents had no time to gather medications and documents. 
Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy made a plea at a fire news conference to residents to help their neighbors during this difficult time. "We appreciate everybody's efforts and kind prayers for all the people from our victims that lost their lives in the shooting to now what's happening with people losing their homes," he said.
Three major fires are burning in California. In addition to the Woolsey and Hill blazes burning in Southern Carolina, the Camp Fire  in the north has left a town in ruins. At least nine people have been killed by that blaze, which burned 90,000 acres and destroyed more than 6,700 structures.