President Donald Trump made his first visit to California since the destructive Camp Fire started, claiming dozens of lives, on Saturday.
This fire is already the deadliest fire in California’s long history of wildfires. The fire spread quickly, leaving thousands displaced. As of Sunday, more than 1,000 people were still unaccounted for.
President Trump ruffled many feathers when he first tweeted about the fire, blaming California for failing to clear brush from the forests. When these fires start, the brush on the forest floor burns rapidly and allows the fire to spread with ease.
The president received a lot of criticism for condemning those managing the fire while it was still burning.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
Although many were unhappy about this comment, he has also shown his support for the firefighters on Twitter, calling them “amazing.”
The California Fire Fighters, FEMA and First Responders are amazing and very brave. Thank you and God Bless you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
Was just briefed by @FEMA_Brock and @SecretaryZinke, who are in California. Thank you to the great Firefighters, First Responders and @FEMA for the incredible job they are doing w/ the California Wildfires. Our Nation appreciates your heroism, courage & genius. God Bless you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2018
On Saturday, President Trump had an opportunity to witness the destruction of the Camp Fire firsthand when he visited the men and women battling the fire, saying, “We are with you all the way.”
Incredible to be with our GREAT HEROES today in California. We will always be with you! pic.twitter.com/B1MCTF83Zf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2018
Total devastation in Paradise, CA. Truly heartbreaking but so powerful to see the strength of the people here. President @realDonaldTrump stood w/ @JerryBrownGov, @GavinNewsom, and Mayor Jody Jones to say we are with you and working together to help. pic.twitter.com/QtdXdPek20
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 17, 2018
According to the White House, President Trump met with several fire crews battling the flames. He also spoke with California’s leadership, including Governor Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) and Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to discuss what resources the federal government can help supply.
President Trump in Paradise, California. https://t.co/LLNPBBf8T1
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) November 17, 2018
“We have the greatest people in the world working and helping our first responders. FEMA has been incredible. Law enforcement, they never let us down.” said President Trump, adding, “We will do everything in our power to support and protect our fellow citizens in harm’s way.”
Although the fire is still burning, firefighters may soon have some help from mother nature as rain is expected to fall early this week.
While this rain could help stop the spread of the fire and allow rescue crews to search for those still missing, it still has some officials worried because the rain could trigger mudslides leaving even more destruction.