SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Internet rakes Trump's solution to wildfires

President Donald Trump offered a Finnish solution to California's wildfire problem. CNN's Jessica Dean has the story behind the confusion.

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 8:08 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 8:11 PM

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said in an interview published Sunday that although President Donald Trump claimed the European leader told him Finns rarely have forest fires because they "spend a lot of time raking," he doesn't recall discussing that with Trump when they met last weekend in Paris.

Niinistö told the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, a CNN affiliate, that the subject of raking was never brought up in his conversations with Trump. He said that they did discuss the California wildfires when they met, and that he told Trump "we take care of our forests."

The Finnish President told the newspaper that he intended to convey that although Finland is covered by forests, the nation has a good monitoring system which has helped to prevent catastrophic wildfires. He added that he only sees raking in his own yard, and surmised that raking perhaps came to Trump's mind after he saw firefighters raking some of the burned areas in California.

Still, Trump mentioned raking while surveying the devastation in Northern California on Saturday.

"I was with the President of Finland and he said we have -- much different -- we are a forest nation. He called it a forest nation," Trump said. "And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem. And when it is, it's a very small problem. So I know everybody's looking at that to that end."

Trump also told Fox News' Chris Wallace during an interview last week that aired on "Fox News Sunday" that he saw firemen raking brush near the wildfires, and that doing so earlier could have prevented the fires.

"I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas, they were raking areas where the fire was right over there," Trump said. "And they're raking ... little bushes, that you could see are totally dry, weeds. And they're raking them -- they're on fire."

"That should have been all raked out and cleaned out," Trump added. "You wouldn't have the fire."

Some on social media pointed to the difference in Finland and California's climates as a possible reason for differing approaches to forest management.

Bemused Finns also took to their accounts to mock the suggestion that raking forest floors was a national obligation.

Some posted images of the Rake Group -- a real estate concern in Helsinki -- for tongue-in-cheek references to the comment.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1980337

Reported Deaths: 51418
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2621119933
Queens2613019549
Suffolk1920063307
Nassau1759193106
Bronx1735626372
New York1307874308
Westchester1248812238
Erie811411694
Richmond700891744
Monroe603251034
Orange45755782
Rockland45439941
Onondaga35694661
Dutchess27720433
Albany23473343
Oneida21329497
Niagara17999332
Broome17239348
Saratoga14292160
Ulster12882241
Schenectady12332192
Rensselaer10567136
Putnam1011391
Chautauqua8304132
Chemung7081133
Oswego693990
Ontario681191
Steuben6231141
St. Lawrence615594
Sullivan606168
Cayuga582590
Jefferson542463
Wayne519667
Cattaraugus509880
Genesee5028121
Herkimer4896107
Clinton450132
Madison427385
Tompkins403449
Fulton402186
Livingston397058
Montgomery3861115
Columbia380999
Cortland352260
Tioga335758
Warren334956
Wyoming322651
Otsego315646
Allegany315483
Greene309474
Chenango304874
Washington282655
Orleans273483
Lewis243233
Franklin238312
Delaware213736
Seneca185756
Schoharie153815
Essex149326
Yates110126
Schuyler98313
Hamilton3012
Unassigned172100
Out of NY0216
Rome
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 39°
Binghamton
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 26°
Rome
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Rome
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 39°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Enter the Rock Your Body Giveaway from Alivana Aesthetics
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!