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Ryan Zinke Says 'Radical Environmentalists' Are to Blame For the Wildfire That's Killed 79 People

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Americans of all political persuasions are rushing to blame the devastating Camp Fire on their political foes, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would like everyone to take a deep breath and calm down... and recognize that “radical environmentalists” are to blame.

Zinke, who is under investigation for numerous alleged ethics violations, appeared on the Breitbart News podcast on Sunday where he found a sympathetic audience for his vitriolic bullshit.


“It’s not a time for finger pointing,” Zinke said before immediately pointing fingers. “We know the problem, it’s been years of neglect and in many cases it’s been these radical environmentalists that want nature to take its course. We have dead and dying timber—we can manage it using best science, breast [sic] practices.”

To be clear, no credible scientist believes that “radical environmentalists” are to blame for the devastation of the Camp Fire, which currently has a death toll of 79 victims with roughly 700 people still unaccounted for. The direct cause of the fire is still under investigation, but climate change has made this the worst wildfire in California’s recorded history.


“You look at Finland...” Zinke continued before trailing off and not doubling down on President Trump’s claims about how they “rake” the forests in that country. Instead, Zinke pivoted rhetorically and mentioned... Germany.

“I had an opportunity to live in Germany... Germany has the Black Forest, their forests are healthy. They don’t have the catastrophic burns because they manage the forests. And I will lay this on the foot [sic] of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forest for years. And you know what? This is on them.”

The interviewer then asked a really strange question that seemed to be teeing up some kind of conspiracy theory.

“I don’t know too much about the geography of California, but are we sure that both of these are wildfires?” the interviewer asked.


“Well, you know, what’s the definition of a wildfire? It’s either ignited by lightning, by human... there’s some suspicion that it could be a power line,” Zinke responded, clearly thrown by the idiocy of the question.

You can listen to the entire interview over at Breitbart’s Soundcloud account, if you really hate yourself that much. The interview ends with Zinke saying the allegations against him are “outrageous” and “false.” He characterized the “attacks” on his family, though some of the allegations directly involve his wife and Zinke’s attempts to get her classified as an Interior Department volunteer so that she could travel for free.


“This is how angry the resistance movement is,” Zinke said. “I’m an American first, I’ve always been red, white, and blue.”


[Los Angeles Times]