Trump said raking prevents forest fires in Finland; Finns baffled and bemused


President Donald Trump claimed that the Finnish president told him about "raking" forests.

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".

People in Finland have been left bemused after Donald Trump said the country's use of "raking" techniques helped prevent forest fires. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things. And when it is, it's a very small problem.

"You gotta take care of the floors".

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto later told a Finnish newspaper he had briefly discussed forest management with Trump while the two were in Paris for Armistice Day, but he did not recall mentioning "raking the forest", according to the Associated Press.

Almost 1,300 people remain unaccounted for as wildfires devastate California.

The reaction from Finland included many people posting on Twitter with the hashtag "haravointi", Finnish for raking.

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Forests cover over 70% of Finland's 338,000 sq km.

In a separate tweet, the news editor wrote that people in Finland were "collectively embarrassed" by Trump's comments, adding that "there ARE forest fires in this part of the world".

It comes after a visit to the fire-ravaged Paradise in California on Saturday, where Trump suggested people could be cleaning up leaves to prevent blazes.

"Anybody needs their floors raked?" tweeted National Basketball Association team Chicago Bulls' Finnish star Lauri Markkanen with a picture of him holding a rake. "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 was watching the firemen the other day and they were raking areas", Mr Trump said. "You wouldn't have the fires".

"And they're raking them and they were on fire and that should have been all raked out and you wouldn't have had the fires".

Mr Trump is a noted climate change sceptic, and rejects it exacerbates the conditions which lead to fires.