California wildfires: Trump visits state's deadliest wildfire

Saturday - 17/11/2018 20:31
AFP I/Mr Trump viewed the damage to homes in the town of Paradise, which was ravaged by fire
AFP I/Mr Trump viewed the damage to homes in the town of Paradise, which was ravaged by fire
US President Donald Trump has arrived in California to survey the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.


 

The Camp Fire, in northern California, has killed at least 71 people.

More than 1,000 people are reported to be missing, although officials say that figure could fluctuate.

Speaking in the town of Paradise, Mr Trump described the scene as "sad to see" and revisited his disputed claim poor forest management was to blame.

"We do have to do management maintenance and we'll be working also with environmental groups, I think everyone's seen the light," he said.

"I don't think we'll have this again to this extent," he added.

Experts have pointed to the weather, climate change and population shifts as bigger causes of the wildfires.

On top of the Camp Fire, firefighters are also tackling several other blazes, including the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles which has claimed at least three lives.

And adding to the misery, scores of people have become sick after outbreaks of the norovirus at shelters and the air quality in northern California has been rated the world's worst

Heavy rain is forecast next week that could douse the flames but also bring mudslides and floods on hillsides stripped of vegetation.

What kind of welcome did President Trump get?

The US president was greeted by Governor Jerry Brown and his successor Gavin Newsom, both of whom are Democrats and have sparred with Mr Trump over the wildfires.

"Now is a time to pull together for the people of California," Governor Brown tweeted.

Donald Trump and council member Judy Jones
AFP
Mr Trump viewed the damage to homes in the town of Paradise, which was ravaged by fire
 

In Paradise, Mr Trump praised the efforts of local law enforcement, politicians and the teams searching for survivors on the ground.

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