Watch Trump explain California fires: Trees 'just explode'

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Trump has previously blamed wildfires on the state of California for not raking forests.

Donald Trump suggested on Monday that California wildfires are in part caused by trees that fall down, saying that after "about 18 months," they become "like a matchstick" and "they just explode."

It was unclear what Trump was referring to, and he did not explain how a tree would explode and start a fire on its own. Trees can potentially explode on their own when they are hit by a force like lightning.

This year, there have been 28 major fires in California that have destroyed over 4,200 structures and left 24 people dead. Over 3.2 million acres of land have been burned.

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In 2018, Trump complained that wildfires would not be an issue if California spent more time "raking" its forests.

From a Sep. 14 press availability:

REPORTER: What you would like to see specifically done on the issue of forest management? And is it possible that it's also forest management and climate change? It's both things at the same time?

 

DONALD TRUMP: I think something's possible, I think a lot of things are possible.

 

But with regard to the forest, when trees fall down, after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry. They become really like a matchstick, and they get up — you know, there's no more water pouring through, and they become very, very ... they just explode. They can explode.

 

Also, leaves, when you have years of leaves, dried leaves on the ground, it just sets it up. It's really a fuel for a fire. So, they have to do something about it.

 

They also have to do cuts. I mean, people don't like to do cuts, but they have to do cuts in between.

 

So, if you do have a fire, and it gets away, you'll have a fifty-yard cut in between, so it won't be able to catch to the other side. They don't do that.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.