Donald Trump heads to California, again blaming fires on forest management

Donald Trump heads to California, again blaming fires on forest management

The increasing death toll in the Camp Fire in Butte County, north of Sacramento, brought the total number of deaths in two wildfires in the state to at least 74. In all, the fires destroyed 9,800 homes and, at their height, displaced 52,000 people.

Seven of the eight bodies were found in the town of Paradise, which was all but destroyed in the fire that broke out November 8, and the other was in Magalia, north of Paradise, said Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said.

Before returning to Washington, Trump met briefly at an airport hangar with families and first responders touched by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks more than a week ago, which left 12 dead.

Some listed have likely survived but not yet notified family or authorities.

Trump told reporters before departing the White House Saturday that during his visit to affected areas he and local authorities would be "talking about forest management".

"Let's hope he gets us some help", said Couch, who voted for Trump and whose house was among those burned down last week.

In an interview scheduled for broadcast on Fox News Sunday, Trump said he was surprised to see images of firefighters removing dried brush near a fire, adding, "This should have been all raked out".

Asked about the president's tweetstorm, LaMalfa told United States media that the fallout stemmed from the timing of the tweets and not the "substance of the argument". But during his visit to Paradise, Calif., on Saturday morning, Trump made similar comments about forest management.

Mr Trump pledged that improved forest management practices would diminish future risks.

Those are areas where undeveloped woodland and rural communities are adjacent. California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

Who manages California's forests?

With 76 people dead and almost 1,300 unaccounted for and feared dead in California wildfires, President Donald Trump had a word of advice about stopping future blazes: "Raking".

Paradise was home to almost 27,000 residents before it was largely incinerated by the blaze on the night of November 8.

"I think everybody's seen the light and I don't think we'll have this again to this extent."

"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.

Asked if he thought climate change contributed to the fires, he said: "Maybe it contributes a little bit. So the federal government is behind you, we're all behind each other".

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. But I think everyone is on the right side.

"It was so insane, I started crying in front of everybody", Whipple said.

He also thanked the press for covering the walk-through, and the fires in general.

Authorities said 47,200 people had been evacuated because of the fire and almost 1,200 were living in shelters.

Firefighters were racing against time with a red flag warning issued for Saturday night into Sunday, including winds up to 50 miles per hour and low humidity.

Weather conditions have since turned more to firefighters' favour, though strong, gusty winds and lower humidity were expected to return late on Saturday through early Sunday ahead of rain forecast for mid-week.

"It's a disheartening situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference Friday.

"I know (Governor-elect) Gavin's committed, we're all committed, I'm committed to make sure that we get all of this cleaned out and protected".

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