Donald Trump's got the solution to forest fires

Lamar Ellis
November 18, 2018

Forensic recovery teams sifting through the charred wreckage recovered the remains of five more victims, bringing the death toll to at least 76, authorities said.

President Trump is on his way to California to see the extent of the damage after the deadliest wildfires in the state's history.

He was flanked by California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom.

Paradise, the town in Butte County that was devastated by the wildfire, has an estimated population of about 27,000.

Tim Bolin, the executive pastor of Paradise Alliance Church, said that his house and church were two of the few buildings that survived but all of his children's homes were destroyed. He beat Hillary Clinton by 4 percentage points in Butte County in 2016. President @realDonaldTrump stood w/ @JerryBrownGov, @GavinNewsom, and Mayor Jody Jones to say we are with you and working together to help.

"Nobody would have ever thought this could have happened", Trump added. "We have to do management", Trump said, referring to improving forest management and maintenance. Trump subsequently approved a federal disaster declaration.

He said: "You've got to take care of the floors".

"He said, you're going with me", Newsum, 93, recalled.

The president says he hopes the fire in the Paradise area will be the last because, in his words, "this was a really, really bad one".

President Donald Trump again blamed California's wildfires, that have left at least 74 people dead and over 1,000 missing, on forest mismanagement hours before he was due to visit the affected areas.

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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 230 square miles (600 square kilometers) and was halfway contained, officials said.

The weather service also warned of strengthening winds up to 80kph and low humidity, and the additional threat of rain in parts of California, as autumn temperatures cooled ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

The large number of remaining evacuees from the northern California fire - around 40,000 at last count - was the cause of the wildly fluctuating numbers of people reported missing.

But Honea acknowledged the list was "dynamic" and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings of names.

Some news sources were quick to point out duplications or odd anomalies in the county's list, including an earlier version which listed five missing people as aged 119, according to the New York Times.

"We are still receiving calls". "We have different views". "This is a massive undertaking".

Before embarking on Air Force One bound for Beale Air Force Base north of Sacramento early Saturday, the president tweeted that he looked "forward to being with our courageous firefighters, first responders and FEMA, along with the many fearless people of California". Eighty-seven people perished in the Big Burn firestorm that swept the Northern Rockies in August of 1910.

The difficulties in keeping track of who are actually missing, then, are obvious - and communication problems are compounding these further. "I couldn't believe how bad it was", said Coppa, who has been living in hotels.

One man was holding a garden rake to which he taped a sign that said: "Our Fault: Really?" She needed a walker for her elderly mother and tags for her vehicle.

The blaze that started November 8 destroyed more than 9,800 homes. Homes were totally gone; some foundations remained, as did a chimney and, in front of one house, a Mickey Mouse lawn ornament.

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