“You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important… I was with the President of Finland… he called it a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem.” – President Donald J. Trump

Helsink, Finlandi: 12″
Los Angeles: 0.2″

Helsinki: 64
Los Angeles: 2

P.S. If you do live in the wildland-urban interface it is a good idea to rank dry leaves and needles from around your home and remove dry materials from your gutters. Learn more about FireWise steps you can take as a homeowner.

11 thoughts on “#MakeAmericaRakeAgain”

  1. So much for knowing so much about the world…I am still reeling from the POTUS exclamation that he knows more about climate science than the scientists themselves, several of who I work closely with.

  2. I was just thinking this morning about what the difference in climate must be when comparing California and Finland – thank you!

    • Actually I live in Sweden and climate change (at least the warming & drought part) finally caught up this year with all of Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Dänemark). May thru August had hot temps (Arctic Circle region were low 90s) and record wildfires, even in Finland. I’ve rarely witnessed many so-called natural forests here, although I’m told they are further north towards the Arctic Circle. Most of the forest landscape here is industrial plantation forestry where harvest of matchstick trees are the game they play. Most of the trees of central and southern Sweden are monoculture Scots pine and Norway Spruce. Things are also very shallow rooted here mainly because of the incessant rain that falls so often. When it does dry out and temps go up, many trees, shrubs and grasses can die out quickly. Saw that this past August when we took a bus south to Helsingborg from Gothenburg and large amounts of dead tall trees were everywhere in whole large acreage patches. It was so bad they banned BBQs even in cities.

      Here’s what a Swedish forest traditionally use to look like in the southern part of Sweden. This is Gunnebo Estate which was never logged for ship building which demanded Oak. There was more deciduous forests than today’s conifers.


  3. A Facebook friend, who just happens to be retired and very conservative, was evacuated from his home in Magalia. They didn’t have time to grab much and got out as quick as they could. After 2 days of watching the news, him and his wife were convinced that their home was gone, along with all the others. They went out and bought a few new sets of clothes and re-filled their prescriptions. Just the other evening, a batch of photos of standing homes were released to the public, and his was there. He lost his separate garage, and his rain gutters were on fire, as the fire engine showed up. They ripped the rain gutters off the house and put those small fires out, then doused the smoldering ashes of his garage. I saw the pictures and he was so lucky. There was so much clutter around his home, and lots of trees surrounding.

    • Wow, and I would imagine rain gutters loaded with leaves, needles, etc debris unseen from ground level are just one of the single biggest reason many homes go up in flames. Yeah he was lucky.

  4. Funny, I’ve observed Swedish industrial forest plantations here using heavy equipment fitting with attachments on the front of a bulldozer or loader known as brush rakes. A couple of days ago the online journal Finland Today had a story about a Finnish Professor of the Natural Resources Institute of Finland who agreed about the brush rake reference. Here’s a quote of the last paragraph:

    The word “raking” raises also a few problems. According to Professor Antti Asikainen from Natural Resources Institute Finland, in the United States raking means harvesting the logging residues to piles with a bulldozer with a brush rake. “Trump used the right word in the right context—knowingly or unknowingly,” he said.


    Of course this fake rake news is no different than the other side attributing fake news to Obama with that joke about him firing 50,000 Cattle Guards out west. Interesting story about how that was fabricated, but there are still diehards who want to believe it.


    Frankly I think both sides deserve each other.

  5. I want to ensure I properly understand the implication in this post, so: 1) The President is dumb for suggesting we “rake and clean” the forest floor, because 2) Helsinki (a coastal city at 60 degrees latitude which does not appear to be in the WUI) is much wetter than Los Angeles (a coastal city at 34 degrees latitude ~439 miles south of Paradise CA), but 3) we should follow his advise because reducing fine fuels in the WUI is sound science.

    Incidentally, Paradise, CA (summer, Jun-Sep):
    Inches of rain: 1.3
    Days of rain: 21

    • Incidentally, this year, Paradise, CA had less than 1″ of rain since May, and they only had a 0.1″ of rain in the two months leading up to the fire.

      Also, California’s 5 warmest years on record in have all occurred in the past 5 yrs.

      Finally, when a downed power-line sparked the Camp Fire winds were gusting 50+ MPH.

      P.S. While Los Angeles is 439 miles south of Paradise, CA it’s only about 30 miles from Malibu and Thousand Oaks, which also had very high profile wildfires burning a few weeks ago.


Leave a Comment