Published: Mon, November 19, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

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

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

President Trump visited the fire-ravaged state Saturday to see firsthand the devastation left behind.

They were met on the tarmac by Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, both of them Democrats in a state that leans strongly that way.

Trump traveled to the mountain town of Paradise, where many homes were burned to the ground.

At least 300 people who fled the Camp Fire were sheltering on Friday in the flood-prone parking lot of a Walmart in Chico.

The Woolsey Fire burning in Southern California has destroyed 836 structures in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Cal Fire said. "There have been some back and forth between California leaders and the president". Trump beat Hillary Clinton by four percentage points in Butte County in 2016.

But Trump has stirred resentment among survivors over comments he made two days after the disaster on Twitter, then reiterated on the eve of his visit.

"I hope it solves the problem, if it doesn't, you know, I'll be told and we'll make a decision at that time", Trump said.

Asked by media if his opinion on climate change had altered, Trump said it had not.

Mr Trump has blamed the recent spate of fires on forest mismanagement, and he said he discussed the issue with Mr Brown and Mr Newsom on the ride into Paradise.

Those comments echoed his initial reaction to the fires November 10 when he blamed the wildfires on poor forest management and threatened then to withhold federal payments.

Asked about the president's tweetstorm, LaMalfa told U.S. media that the fallout stemmed from the timing of the tweets and not the "substance of the argument".

No wildfire in California's history has done more damage than the Camp Fire.

President Donald Trump's freakish advice on "raking and cleaning" forest floors to prevent wildfires may not have originated with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö as he claimed.

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Trump has cast his diplomacy with the elusive thirtysomething leader as evidence of his masterful deal-making. Seoul's gesture comes after the North gave South Korea two tons of pine mushrooms in September .

"We've never seen anything like this in California", Trump said.

Paul Briones, a firefighter from Bakersfield, predicted Trump's visit would be a huge boost to the community, showing "that this on a national level is a priority". Thousands of personnel were battling the blaze that covered about 600 square kilometres and was halfway contained, officials said.

Firefighters were racing against time with winds up to 40 miles per hour and low humidity expected Saturday night into Sunday.

It will also further the complicate the search for remains in burned out areas, such as Paraside, in northern California. "I mean it's hard to think about him not being here anymore".

Three people have been confirmed dead in the Woolsey fire. But Honea acknowledged the list was "dynamic" and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings of names.

Authorities attribute the death toll partly to the speed with which flames raced through the town of 27,000, driven by wind and fuelled by desiccated scrub and trees.

He received a call earlier this week that his father's remains might have been found and now will go to California to provide a DNA sample.

"It was tragic, and yet in one way it was a very attractive moment", Trump said. "This is a massive undertaking".

Dan Newman, a team captain with the Butte County Sheriff's search and rescue team, said he originally was tasked with going door to door to alert people in the community of Concow, California to the fire.

Authorities said some of those listed likely survived but have not yet notified family or officials, either because they lack phone service or were unaware anyone was looking for them.

For one family, good news arrived by telephone. Price had been presumed missing but was tracked down at a shelter.

For too many others, the wait to learn a loved one's fate has ended with bad news. She needed a walker for her elderly mother and tags for her auto.

Everything she and her husband, Grady, own is gone, along with a home they were renting, "a quirky older house with lots of character and lots of room" for their six kids, she said.

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