“They live there in the woods”

Wildfires are currently raging in California. Why do many other countries suffer less from fires? The US president makes an absurd statement that is widely ridiculed.

A video clip of the American president is causing a stir online: in it Donald Trump speaks in an interview with Fox News about the wildfires that are currently raging in the western United States. Trump doesn’t see climate change as the cause of the magnitude of the fires in California, but the state’s poor forest management, he says. Apparently to underline his point, the president then wants to draw a parallel with Europe. There are whole “forest towns” there – and yet the fires wouldn’t get out of control like California.

Trump then called Austria a special role model in fighting forest fires, because “they live in the woods there.” There are also “more explosive trees” there than in California. The reason why there are no fire disasters there is that the fire risk is better controlled. How do the Austrians do that?

“They dilute the fuel,” explains Trump. By that he means leaves and fallen trees on the ground. If trees were to fall, they would become very dry, “like a matchstick.” They “can explode,” explains Trump. ‘It really is fuel for a fire. So you have to do something about it. ‘ California needed to create more fire barriers in the forests and cut more trees. According to him, European countries such as Austria would do better.

The statements of the US president about Austria caused a lot of ridicule on Twitter. Some users posted photo montages, photos and videos to fool his idea of ​​“forest towns”. Others were amused that the trees in the country were supposedly more explosive.

Trump is trying to downplay the climate crisis

Wildfires in the western United States have devastated large tracts of land in recent weeks – and the number continues to rise. In ten states alone, including California, Oregon and Washington, 87 major fires have destroyed more than 18,600 square miles of land, according to the federal agency’s National Interagency Fire Center on Monday. In California, nearly 16,500 firefighters fought the flames. The full extent of the fire inferno cannot yet be foreseen.

The historic fires are fueling fears of the consequences of the climate crisis. However, the US president downplayed the issue on a visit to the critical California area. “It’s going to get cooler, check it out,” Trump said during his visit to a California minister. “I wish science could agree with you,” he replied. And Trump: “I don’t think science knows.”

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