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'Rake News': Trump Says Finland Avoids Wildfires by 'Raking' Forests, Finns Baffled

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said that he did not recall talking to Trump about raking in their last meeting.

Rakhi Bose | News18.com@theotherbose

Updated:November 19, 2018, 7:23 PM IST
'Rake News': Trump Says Finland Avoids Wildfires by 'Raking' Forests, Finns Baffled
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said that he did not recall talking to Trump about raking in their last meeting.

As California grapples with one of the worst cases of forest fires ever to hit the western state of the US, President Donald Trump visited the state to speak with the survivors. While interacting with the survivors, Trump allegedly said that the US should learn forest management from Finlad, a country which has a dense forest cover, by using the Finnish technique - raking forest floors to prevent fire.

Speaking to forest officials and volunteers in California's Camp Fire blaze that killed 77 persons, Trump said, "You look at other countries where they do it differently, and it's a whole different story...I was with the President of Finland, and he said: 'We're a forest nation' and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem."

Trump was referring to a recent meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Paris to commemorate 100 years of the end of World War I. However, there was one problem with his statement. The Finnish President did not remeber making such remarks to the President or even claiming that raking forest floors was part of Finland's forest management policies.

Speaking to a Finnish newspaper, Niinisto allegedly said, "I mentioned [to] him that Finland is a land covered by forests and we also have a good monitoring system and network." According to a report in ABC, the President said that though he and Trump discussed the California blaze as well Finland's forest fire surveillance system. However, he did not recall talking about raking.

Like all things Donald, this statement of the American President has also gone viral on social media, with people calling out Trump's statement as 'rake news', a clever play on Trump's favourite war cry, 'fake news'. Tweeting under the hashtag 'haravointi', which is Finnish for raking, several Finns have shared photos of them raking their gardens, allegedly as part of the country's efforts to control forest fires.

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