Finland's president doesn't know what Trump was talking about with 'raking' comments on California fires

Trump paradise

  • Finland's President doesn't remember telling Trump they rake forest floors to prevent wild fires, he told media on Sunday.
  • Trump told CNN on Saturday that Finns "spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problem."
  • Sauli Niinistö said he advised Trump about fire-prevention but only spoke about Finland's surveillance network, not any "raking."
  • Trump made the statement on his first visit to the area destroyed by the Camp Fire, which killed at least 71 people.

Finland's President said on Sunday he doesn't remember telling Trump they rake leaves from their forests to prevent fires, a day after Trump said Finland has no problems due to "raking and cleaning."

The day before, the US president said: "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," as CNN noted.
"You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important. You look at other countries where they do it differently and it's a whole different story," Trump added.

President Sauli Niinistö said he spoke about forest fires with Trump in Paris on the weekend of November 9, according to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, but he doesn't remember using "Trump's English- style word," the paper reported.

Read more: Satellite images show how the Camp Fire destroyed entire towns and killed dozens of people

Trump made the raking comments from the grim scene of Paradise, California which was destroyed by the Camp Fire which started on November 8 and has killed at least 71 people so far.

In response to Trump's comments the Finnish newspaper said: "Raking is not normally included in the Finnish forest management's tool range." Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Trump told host Chris Wallace he spotted firemen using a raking brush near the fire, and if they'd done it a bit earlier it would have stopped the fire.

He said: "I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas, they were raking areas where the fire was right over there."

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