Neil Young blasts Trump as ‘unfit’ after California fire destroys Canadian’s home
Young accused Trump of ignoring climate change and playing politics with the wildfires in California, where 31 people have been killed, 150,000 have been displaced and more than 1,040 square kilometres have been scorched by massive wildfires.
“It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader,” Young wrote in a blog post on his website Sunday.
“California is vulnerable — not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” Young wrote.
“We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.”
The rocker accused Trump of denying climate change and ignoring scientific evidence in favour of “his own, convenient opinion.”
Young appeared to be responding to a series of tweets Trump issued over the weekend, in which the president blamed “forest management” for the deadly blazes.
Trump threatened on Saturday to stop providing financial help to California if the state did not remedy its “gross mismanagement of the forests.”
Young accused Trump of ignoring the scientific evidence around climate change.
“Firefighters have never seen anything like this in their lives,” Young wrote.
“We love California. We are not ill-prepared. We are up against something bigger than we have ever seen.”
Young has openly criticized Trump in the past, including last week, when he complained about the president using his song Rockin’ in the Free World at appearances.
“Legally, he has the right to, however it goes against my wishes,” Young wrote on Instagram.
The singer turned 73 on Monday.
WATCH BELOW: At least 31 dead in raging California wildfires
Young is one of several celebrities and tens of thousands of people who have been forced from their homes by major wildfires in California.
The Woolsey Fire has burned at least 177 homes and killed two people in Southern California. The flames have stretched from the northwest corner of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley to the Malibu coast, where many celebrities live.
Scottish actor Gerard Butler returned to his Malibu home on Sunday to find it reduced to ashes and a few naked steel beams. Butler shared photos and video of the destruction on social media, where he thanked firefighters for their efforts and urged people to donate to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
WATCH BELOW: Gerard Butler’s Malibu home destroyed by Woolsey Fire
Lady Gaga, Martin Sheen, Kim Kardashian West, Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty, Guillermo del Toro, Rainn Wilson and Miley Cyrus were among the thousands of people evacuated from the affluent Malibu area. Mobile-home dwellers were also evacuated from communities in the nearby mountains. Some evacuation orders were lifted on Sunday.
Cyrus says her home was destroyed but her partner, actor Liam Hemsworth, made it out safely with her pets.
“My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong,” she tweeted.
Singer Robin Thicke, son of Canadian Alan Thicke, shared footage of his family’s escape from the fire on Saturday. He later announced that his home was destroyed in the fire.
More than 6,700 buildings have been destroyed in the Camp Fire and the Ranch Fire in Northern California, officials said.
Firefighters say the town of Paradise has been destroyed. Twenty-nine people were killed by fast-moving, windblown flames that swept over the community of 27,000 late last week.
“This is truly a tragedy that all Californians can understand and respond to,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters on Sunday. “It’s a time to pull together and work through these tragedies.”
Brown has declared a state of emergency and requested aid from the Trump administration. He said federal and state governments must do more to improve their forest management policies, but the larger cause of the fires is climate change.
“Those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years,” Brown said.
WATCH BELOW: California governor says climate change contributed to wildfires
California just elected another Democratic governor and several Democrats to Congress.
The wildfires have largely affected national forests that are under the control of the federal government, which Trump oversees.
Trump has a history of blaming California’s state’s government and environmental regulations for wildfires.
He claimed without evidence in August that California was diverting water into the ocean instead of using it to fight fires.
“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized,” Trump tweeted on Aug. 6. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!”
“We have plenty of water,” CalFire Chief Scott McLean told Reuters in August, in response to the president’s tweet.
California’s seasonal Santa Ana winds are fanning the flames of California’s latest wildfire crisis. The winds are common in autumn and have a long history of fanning destructive wildfires.
—With files from the Associated Press and Reuters
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