Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump Says He’ll Work With California to Aid Wildfire Relief

Trump Says He’ll Work With California to Aid Wildfire Relief

Nature and humans share blame for the wildfires, but fire scientists are divided as to whether forest management played a major role.

CHP officers wait before President Trump arrives at Naval Air Station Point Magu on November 17.

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

Remains of at least 71 people have been recovered so far in and around the Sierra foothills hamlet of Paradise, which was home to almost 27,000 residents before the town was largely incinerated by the deadly Camp Fire on the night of November 8.

"The information I am providing you is raw data and we find there is the likely possibility that the list contains duplicate names", he said, adding that some people who had escaped could be unaware they were listed as missing.

Fires have been particularly devastating this year, nearly entirely destroying the town of Paradise, home to 27,000 people.

US President Donald Trump answers questions during a signing ceremony of the 'Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act, ' in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Washington.

California's outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats who have been vocal critics of Trump, plan to join the president on Saturday.

Along his drive, several signs thanked Trump for coming but one called him a "moron".

Mr Trump planned to hear from those leaders about the dire situation and talk to first responders.

A canyon home was left untouched amid the surrounding charred and blackened hillsides from the Woolsey Fire along Lobo Canyon Road in California. The fire covered 60,000 hectares, fire officials said.

Even as he attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone in the wake of a series of tweets in which he blamed California's forest management for the fires, the touring party did strike an oddly partisan note: the three politicians in Trump's party were all Republicans.

Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, called Trump's earlier remark "ill-informed", and added: "It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California".

Asked by media if his opinion on climate change had altered, Trump said it had not. He beat Hillary Clinton by 4 percentage points in Butte County in 2016.

After seeing the damage first-hand Saturday, Trump told reporters it's "very sad to see". "Thousands and thousands of homes got destroyed with no trees around", Roslyn Roberts told Reuters.

In the community of Chico, just west of Paradise, volunteers had erected a tented encampment for others forced from their homes.

More than a week later, firefighters have managed to carve containment lines around 55 percent of the blaze's perimeter.

American flag for Donald Trump as his motorcade drives through Chico, California.

Schools across a large swath of the state were closed because of smoke, and San Francisco's world-famous open-air cable cars were pulled off the streets.

A blanket of haze enveloped the region and the Golden Gate Bridge was shrouded in thick smog.

Much of the rescue work is now focused on Paradise, a community that was home to many retirees who found themselves unable to get out in time.

Rescuers with sniffer dogs have been conducting a painstaking house-to-house search.

"It's already a zoo here and I don't care who the president is". He was hunting for his brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

At least three other people have died in southern California in another blaze dubbed the Woolsey Fire, which engulfed parts of Malibu, destroying the homes of several celebrities.

The fire has burned 146,000 acres and was 50 percent contained Friday.

While the cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation, a lawsuit has been filed against the local power company, PG&E, by fire victims claiming negligence by the utility.

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