Finnish president says he briefed Trump on forest monitoring

Trump hails Finnish forest management

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Gov. -elect Gavin Newsom, Pres. Donald Trump, California governor Jerry Brown and Paradise mayor Jody Jones view wildfire devastation in Butte County. I was with the president of Finland and he called it a forest nation, and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problem.

Finnish president Sauli Niinistö told Yle that he believed Trump was referring to their encounter in Paris last weekend marking the WWI armistice centenary.

For Armstrong, the erroneous remark added what she said was a new level of betrayal by the president.

Forests cover more than 70 per cent of Finland's 338,000 square kilometres.

The Nordic country with a population of 5.5 million is home to some of the world's biggest paper and pulp companies.

The online reaction in Finland alternated between those pointing out that the country has a vastly different climate and population density and those making jokes. "They're raking trees, little trees like this - nut trees, little bushes, that you could see are totally dry".

Yana Valachovic, a forest adviser with the University of California, told the Washington Post that managing forests would actually reduce the severity of the blazes.

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"I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas".

But Niinistö said he does not recall any discussion of "raking" forest floors as something he would have suggested in any way.

He also told the newspaper that he remembers uttering the phrase "we take care of our forests" during their conversation.

The president landed at the Beale Air Force base in Northern California hours after he blamed the deadly wildfires on poor forest management yet again, re-igniting fury among West Coast residents and firefighters.

California has 33 million acres of forest, according to a University of California web page. "And they don't have any problem".

The Fox host, Chris Wallace, asked whether climate change might not be a larger wildfire factor than unraked debris, but Trump didn't think so.

That, and Finns don't rake forests, only their parks and yards.

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