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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Finns poke fun at Donald Trump’s wildfire raking claim

Mr Trump claimed the Finnish premier had told him the nation kept the forest floor clear from debris by raking, thereby preventing wildfires

Mr Trump made the claim while visiting areas ravaged by the wildfire in California. Reuters.
Mr Trump made the claim while visiting areas ravaged by the wildfire in California. Reuters.

Donald Trump is receiving a drubbing on social media from Finnish citizens after claiming they rake the forest floor to prevent wildfires.

Speaking on television from an area decimated by the most recent California wildfire, Trump spoke about prevention, citing a conversation with the Finnish leader.

“I was with the president of Finland, and he said, ‘We have a much different — we’re a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation,” he said.

“They spent 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. And it’s going to work out, it’s going to work out well.”

However, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto remembered a slightly different conversation, one in which he says raking was not discussed.

“I mentioned [to] him that Finland is a land covered by forests and we also have a good monitoring system and network,” told newspaper Ilta-Sanomat on Sunday.

The fire, which began on November 8, has left at least 80 dead and over 1,000 unaccounted for. Over 50,000 people were displaced from their homes as the fire ripped through cities and towns.

As Mr Trump’s comments were reported, Finnish people took to social media to show the absurdity of raking the forest floor in a country that is 76 percent covered in forest.

Finnish people posted photos using the hashtag #RakeNews, posing with rakes, vacuum cleaners and all manner of cleaning items.