Donald Trump is being mocked on Twitter after advising officials devastated by California wildfires to be like Finland and do ‘more raking and cleaning.’
Trump made the remark about the fires that have left at least 79 people dead and more than 1,200 others missing, as he surveyed still smoldering remains in Northern California Saturday.
The president cited purported comments from the president of Finland on how the Nordic nation deals with its forests: ‘Other countries do it differently, it’s a whole different story.’
The president said they engage in ‘raking and cleaning things and they don’t have any problem’.
But Twitter users, especially in Finland, were quick to disabuse him of the idea they spent their free time raking national forests in a flurry of memes under the hashtag #RakeNews a twist on his often-used defensive words ‘fake news’.
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Donald Trump spoke to officials as he surveyed still smoldering remains at a trailer park which was destroyed by the Northern California wildfires Saturday
The President made an eyebrow-raising comparison to Finland saying they engage in ‘raking and cleaning things and they don’t have any problem’
Twitter users twisted his ‘fake news’ defense line to form the hashtag #RakeNews
Why rake when you can vacuum? People in Finland were baffled by his comments
Perhaps a lawnmower would do a better job? Tweeters joked at Trump’s expense
Finnish people used #Haravointi to describe ‘raking’.
Social media users responded with doctored pictures of people vacuuming forests, insects going through the desert with a fine tooth comb, and even Trump himself ordering a child to take his lawnmower to the bushes of the Golden State once he’d finished cutting grass.
It was all of course a nod to his suggestion simply raking the forests in California could have prevented the loss of lives.
One Twitter user mocked Trump’s mane with an image of his hair blowing in the harsh winds that have contributed to the spread of the infernos. Pointing to his own head, it was captioned: ‘Can I get one more rake out here.’
Tweeters didn’t hold back with his famous ‘Make America Great Again’ red cap sporting the words, ‘Rake America Great Again’ instead.
Social media users laughed at a time when Trump should have shown more sympathy
One user joked in Finland they use rakes for grilling food
‘Fine Trumpists’: One account joked insects could comb the desert too
Another suggested Trump run a rake through his mane
Finnish people showed their sense of humor by getting their rakes out
People shared their photos of attempting to manicure the land
One joked that even pets must get involved in the supposed Finnish way of life
A social media user joked that bears may have appreciated if Californians had done their raking sooner
Fighting fire with rakes: People mocked the president for suggesting the gardening item could have stopped people dying
Chiming in on the trolling, many Finnish people pictured their rakes helping them get through everyday activities. One user joked they cook sausages on an outdoor grill with theirs and another posed with hers claiming she was ‘off to perform my civic duty’.
‘I perhaps wouldn’t compare Finland and California climate-wise’,’ tweeted Veli-Pekka Kivimäki, a Finnish defense researcher.
‘And besides, 80 per cent of the country is classified as forest land. We don’t exactly manicure all of it.’
One joked Finnish forests must always look immaculate
#Haravointi: The Finnish word for ‘raking’ became the talk of Twitter
Smokey Bear, the American advertising icon created by the US Forest Service, had his face swapped with Trump’s image
‘Tis the season: One person considered ordering Trump a rake for the holiday season
Finnish people were largely confused about Trump’s claims of their country
Trump had earlier told workers to get a move on and learn from their mistakes.
‘We’re going to have to work quickly. Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one,’ Trump said as he walked among the rubble where the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park in Paradise once stood.
‘I think everybody’s seen the light and I don’t think we’ll have this again to this extent.
He added: ‘I think people have to see this really to understand it.’
The president landed at the Beale Air Force base in Northern California Saturday hours after he blamed the deadly wildfires on poor forest management yet again, re-igniting fury among West Coast residents and firefighters.
He walked side by side with Paradise Mayor Jody Jones and surveyed the devastation of the once lively-town in person.
President Donald Trump visits the charred wreckage of Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park
After landing in Yuba County, near the Camp Fire aftermath, around 1pm Eastern time (10am Pacific time), Trump was given a 30-minute helicopter tour of the area flying through the thick haze of smoke then headed out on foot to see rescue crews and the incinerated remains of the town.
Nodding toward the remnants of Paradise, Trump promised that state and federal partners would ‘get this cleaned up’ and ‘take care of the floors of the forest’.
California has 33 million acres of forest, according to a University of California web page.
But experts claimed they wouldn’t compare California to Nordic nations when it comes to managing their forests
Trump also tweeted calling search and rescue responders ‘Great Heroes’
Federal agencies overseen by the Trump administration own and manage about 19 million acres of that total.
While experts agree that tree clearing and other forest management work is necessary, the Trump administration has proposed slashing tens of millions of dollars from the Department of Interior and US Forest Service budgets.
Fire and forest management experts criticized Trump last weekend for blaming the wildfires on poor forest management and misappropriation of funds. ‘Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!’ Trump vowed on Twitter.
Firefighters in Northern California have mixed thoughts on President Donald Trump’s criticism of forest management but say their main focus is fighting the blaze.
Some returned to a command center in the Northern California city of Chico on Friday after 24-hour shifts.
A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, California on November 8
A rescue worker and her cadaver dog search the Paradise Gardens apartments for victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise
Trump initially responded to the fires by blaming them on ‘gross mismanagement’ of forests in a tweet on Saturday.
Authorities attribute the death toll partly to the speed with which flames raced through the town with little advance warning, driven by howling winds and fueled by drought-desiccated scrub and trees.
The Butte County disaster coincided with a flurry of smaller blazes in southern California, including the Woolsey Fire.
The Woolsey fire has been linked with three fatalities and has destroyed at least 500 structures in the mountains and foothills near the Malibu coast west of Los Angeles.
The latest blazes have capped a two deadly wildfire seasons in California that scientists largely attribute to prolonged drought they say is symptomatic of climate change.
The cause of the fires are under investigation. But two electric utilities have said they sustained equipment problems close to the origins of the blazes around the time they were reported.