The monstrous flames ripping through Northern California in recent days have burned communities to the ground, killed dozens of people caught in their path and wreaked havoc on a regional economy.
By almost any metric, that would be defined as a natural disaster — except the one used by Congress to draw up the federal budget.
The absurd way in which Washington pays to put out wildfires throughout the West is making a dangerous situation even more so.
So naturally it’s easy for the Los Angeles Times to point the finger at President Trump.
California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris last week sent President Trump a letter as fires raged in Northern California imploring him to support fixing the Forest Service money problem in a stand-alone measure, and then deal with the broader disputes over forestry management separately.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, wrote in a letter to congressional leaders that “active forest management and other reforms must be part of the solution to curb the cost and destruction of wildfires.”