Finland's "Rake News" Memes & Tweets Troll How Trump Suggests The Country Prevents Wildfires

ByCaroline Burke
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

On Saturday, POTUS told reporters that wildfires aren't an issue in Finland because the Finnish people are always "raking and cleaning and doing things" to prevent wildfires in their "forest nation." He further claimed that this theory came from the Finnish president himself, Sauli Niinistö. It didn't take long for Niinistö to confirm that he'd never said anything of the sort to Trump. Shortly after that, the people of Finland began to chime in, as well: Finland's "rake news" memes took the internet by storm over the weekend.

To Finland's second largest newspaper, Niinistö explained what he had initially said to Trump. “I mentioned [to] him that Finland is a land covered by forests and we also have a good monitoring system and network,” he said.

The Finnish people immediately backed him up, albeit in a blunter way. Via #RakeNews and #RakeAmericaGreatAgain hashtags, various Finns called out the absurdity of POTUS' claim. Finnish news editor David Mac Dougall tweeted out a series of comments regarding Trump's claims, first pointing out that Finns were "collectively embarrassed" by Trump's comments and then explaining that both Sweden and Finland have experienced serious devastation from recent wildfires.

Here are some of the funniest memes from Finns looking to find the lighter side of a misinformed comment regarding wildfire prevention across the world:

"Off To Perform My Civic Duty."

POTUS made his false assertion about Finland during a visit to see the damage inflicted by the Camp Fire in Northern California. “You look at other countries where they do it differently and it’s a whole different story,” he said.

He added that he was watching firemen rake leaves during his time in California, and if that had been done before, "you wouldn't have the fire."

"Asking For A Friend."

Many Finns were notably confused about POTUS' comments about raking. Even some Swedes began to get in on the action.

"Please Send Help. Must Bring Own Rakes."

Aki Heikkinen, a Finnish decathlete, explained exactly why it was so absurd for POTUS to suggest that his country uses raking as a primary defense for wildfires. He wrote, "Finland has ~73% forest coverage = 222,180 square kilometers of forests (world bank study). Our forests are densest in the world, averaging 72,000 trees in sq km. That's 22 billion trees or 4,500 for every Finn (yale university study). Please send help. Must bring own rakes."

"Not On My Watch!"

There's nothing quite like a dramatic backlit photograph to imbue a serious sense of drama in a photo. Throw a great prop into the mix and you're golden.

"I Say Rake It, Rake It Good"

Creating a full cover song for "Whip It" with rakes as props should definitely earn this group a Grammy. Or at the very least a nod from the original artist, Devo.

"We Even Have [Our] Own Rake Building In Helsinki"

A building dedicated entirely to rakes seems a little dubious..

"Trump's Space Force To Prevent Forest Fires On The Moon."

Why not throw a fake movie into the mix, with a tag line this good?

"Just This Afternoon I Was Busy Meeting My Raking Quota."

Some of the best tweets were from Finnish citizens who posed as rakers. "Just this afternoon I was busy meeting my raking quota," one user tweeted.

"Everyone Is Fired/Make America Rake Again"

This poem wasn't written by a Finn, but it was truly inspired within the #MakeAmericaRakeAgain hashtag.

"Be Right Back. Stepping Outside To Rake The Forest."

The executive producer of The Ellen Show might not be Finnish, but he was another example of an American joining in on the Finnish fun.

"I'm Not Finnish Raking."

In one of the punniest satire tweets about rakes, one user tweeted, "My wife told me to come in just now but I'm not Finnish Raking." Gold star for this Twitter user.

"We Must Keep The Floors Clean!!"

Combining raking with the notion of a literal mob of people with fire in their midst is the most zany gif usage possible for this context. It also just might be one of the most applicable and clever gifs, too.

"This Photo Is A Fine Example Of A Clearing Rake."

In a tale of mock historic irony, one user wrote, "1000's of Norwegian Forrest workers used to be employed to rake the Forrest Floor. This photo is a fine example of a Clearing rake. Today robots are performing this important duty."

These memes and reactions were surprisingly clever, given that POTUS' comments were so off the mark they could have just as easily been brushed aside. But it's important that people don't forget just how severe the situation in California is. For those of you who'd like to contribute to the brave men and women who are taking real, applicable steps to containing the devastating wildfires in California, you can find out about all of the ways to support firefighters here.