Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Make America Rake Again: Finland baffled by Trump's forest fire raking claim


Martin Belam and agencies
Mon 19 Nov 2018 07.07 EST

The people of Finland have reacted with bemusement on social media at Donald Trump’s assertions that the country rakes its forests to help prevent forest fires.

Speaking on Saturday in Paradise, California, about the role of forest management in stemming wildfires, Trump said: “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. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.”

Finnish social media users immediately posted a range of jokes about Trump’s comments, which do not reflect the reality of how forests are managed in the country.

There were also people on hand to point out that the factors affecting whether there are forest fires are very different in California and Finland:

Malla Hadley @mallahadley

I grew up in Finland. a) it rains all year round. b) we have a lengthy and cold winter. c) Finland is a sparsely populated country with just over 5mil ppl, with land size ~3/4 of CA and most of it forests and lakes. d) no friggin body is raking the forests.
3:41 PM - Nov 17, 2018

For his part, Sauli Niinistö appears to recall the conversation somewhat differently. He said although he told Trump that the Finns took care of their forests, he did not specifically recall mentioning raking as part of the planning.


Trump’s comments about Finland’s forest management come after a summer where forest fires did rage in the Arctic Circle, with Finland’s neighbour Sweden most affected.


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