Trump tours California's wildfire damage

Pauline Gross
November 18, 2018

USA president Donald Trump extolled Finnish forestry management on a visit to northern California on Saturday where more than 70 people have died in the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.

Seventy-one people have died in the fire and more than 1,000 are reported missing, although authorities stress that many will likely turn up unharmed. "We want to thank you all for coming and being here, and showing, because I think people have to see this, really, to understand it", said the President.

"Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one", the president said while surveying the damage in Paradise.

The outbreak of Camp Fire coincided with a series of smaller blazes in Southern California, most notably the Woolsey Fire, which is linked to three fatalities and has destroyed at least 500 structures near the Malibu coast west of Los Angeles.

At one point, near the end of the trailer park visit, Trump offered Newsom an opportunity to speak.

Trump was accompanied by Gov.

Mr Trump toured the area on Saturday, joined by California's outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats who have traded sharp barbs with the Republican administration.

Asked about Trump's insistence that forest management was to blame for the blaze, Steve Busalacchi said comments like that are how you motivate people to address problems.

Trump, a defiant climate change skeptic, and Brown a firm believer in a trend confirmed by almost all serious scientists, were never going to resolve their differences.

Trump had caused resentment last week when he wrote "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor".

Asked if he believed climate change had played any role in the fires, Trump again pointed to the forest "management factor" and insisted that his "strong opinion" - he has been skeptical of man's role in global warming - remained unchanged.

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Never is the power of a U.S. president more tangible than in the spectacle of the motorcade, rolling with nearly imperial self-confidence wherever the leader touches down on the planet.

American flag for Donald Trump as his motorcade drives through Chico, California. "It will open his eyes to what it is", he said.

"He's going to get these guys, and no pun intended, get a fire under them", he said, referring to state officials in California.

Weldon described embers larger than basketballs flying past his house and a fire so intense that it roared as loudly as an aircraft engine.

The flames have destroyed entire towns and consumed thousands of houses, prompting widespread evacuations amid the carnage.

Trump said Saturday morning he wanted "to be with the firefighters and the FEMA first responders" during his trip, and added he would be meeting Saturday with Gov.

Trump has blamed the recent spate of fires on forest mismanagement, and he said he discussed the issue with Brown and Newsom on the ride into Paradise. He also threatened to withhold federal payments from California.

The death toll of the Camp Fire, now at 76, has climbed steadily as a team of more than 500 specialists searches for human remains.

A spokesman for his office told AP that the list was not a "real-time" reflection of who is missing, but is being widely publicised in the hope it will prompt people to call in to say they are okay. But the latest figure, a significant increase from days earlier, has shocked even those who have surveyed the devastation. Approximately 12,200 buildings have been destroyed, as more than 5,600 fire personnel try to contain the fire.

Fires are spreading through multiple national forests, including the Sierra Nevada National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest.

Other reports by GizPress

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