Trump blames 'explosive' trees for California wildfires

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON : US President Donald Trump drew scorn on social media for saying wildfires ravaging swathes of the western US were caused by exploding trees.

"With regard to the forests, when trees fall down after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry," he said during a visit to California on Monday.

"They become really like a matchstick... They just explode."

His comments elicited widespread bewilderment, with people speculating that the President may have misunderstood briefings about the effects of fire on trees, many of which have died due to drought that weakens their defences against pests.

Mr Trump blamed the fires on poor forest management in states led by rival Democrats and sparked scepticism when he said that global warming - which he has repeatedly denied - would naturally abate.

"It will start getting cooler. You just watch," he insisted. - AFP