Donald Trump visits town decimated by wildfire and continues to blame forest management

0
35
Donald Trump visits town decimated by wildfire and continues to blame forest management

The President of the United States visited a town that has been decimated by wildfires as the death toll in California rose to 76.

But Donald Trump has been slammed for insensitivity as he stood among the charred remains of trees and houses and once again blamed the devastating fire on forest management.

Earlier this month, Trump caused outrage by threatening to withdraw funding to those fighting the fires in a tweet where he complained they were ‘costly’.









To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

‘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!’ he said two days into the disaster.

After visiting the scene on Saturday, the president described the remains of Paradise, where the majority of homes were incinerated by flames, as ‘sad’.

Almost every member of the population of 27,000 people living in Paradise – that saw some of the worst destruction when the fire started on November 8 – has fled, with only emergency services workers now seen out and about.

Mr Trump told reporters there: ‘They’re telling me this is not as bad as some areas; some areas are even beyond this, they’re just charred.’

He then persisted in his controversial claim that forest mismanagement is responsible for the tragedy, saying: ‘You look at other countries where they do it differently, and it’s a whole different story.

‘I was with the President of Finland he said it was a ‘forest nation’, he said ‘we’re a forest nation’.

‘And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and they don’t have any problem, and when they do it’s a very small problem.’

US President Donald Trump (2R) looks on with Paradise Mayor Jody Jones (C), Governor of California Jerry Brown (L), Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long (R), and Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newson, as they view damage from wildfires in Paradise, California on November 17, 2018. - President Donald Trump arrived in California to meet with officials, victims and the "unbelievably brave" firefighters there, as more than 1,000 people remain listed as missing in the worst-ever wildfire to hit the US state. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The president said Paradise was ‘just charred’ (Picture: AFP/Getty)

President Donald Trump talks with California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom during a visit to a neighborhood destroyed by the wildfires, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. At right is California Gov. Jerry Brown. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

Donald Trump talks with California Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (Picture: AP)

PARADISE, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Gov.-elect Gavin Newson, President Donald Trump, Gov. Jerry Brown, Paradise mayor Jody Jones and FEMA Director Brock Long tour the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park during Trump's visit of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California on November 17, 2018. (Photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr.-Pool/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Trump described the scene in Paradise is very sad (Picture: Getty)

Before boarding Air Force One to California on Saturday morning, Trump said: ‘Everybody now knows that this is what we have to be doing…

‘It should’ve been done many years ago.’

Under Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget, the Forest Service and National Park Service suffered huge cuts.

Later, at an incident command center, a reporter asked Trump if visiting the devastated region had changed his opinion about climate change, about which he has said he doubts.

Trump responded: ‘No.’

Trump has previously called climate change a ‘hoax’ – although in October he walked back that comment, saying instead that he thinks climate change scientists are politically motivated and that he is not convinced it is a manmade issue.

Authorities expect the death toll to grow still, and have warned evacuees that when they return they could come upon remains that officials missed.

US President Donald Trump (C) arrives at Beale Air Force Base in California, November 17, 2018, as he travels to view wildfire damage. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Before bording Air Force One Trump suggested that with proper management ‘should’ve been done many years ago’ (Picture: AFP/Getty)

President Donald Trump visits a neighborhood impacted by the Wolsey Fire, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump witnessed scenes of devastation during his first visit to the areas affected by fire (Picture: Getty)

Residents wave to the motorcade during President Donald Trump's visit of the Camp Fire in Chico, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Trump went to Northern California on Saturday to survey the devastation from the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

Residents waved flags to the motorcade during President Trump’s visit in Chico, California, on Saturday (Picture: AP)

As of latest figures releaseds, nearly 1,300 people remain ‘unaccounted for’.

Authorities said five more bodies were found on Saturday, including four in the town of Paradise and one in nearby Concow.

Meanwhile, firefighters continue to battle the blaze, which covers an area of about 600 square kilometres (149,000 acres).

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea pleaded with fire evacuees to check the list of people reported as unreachable by family and friends and to call in if they are safe.

Hundreds of people have already been located, but the overall number keeps growing because officials are adding names, including those reported as missing during the disaster’s chaotic early hours, he said.

‘It’s really very important for you to take a look at the list and call us if you’re on the list,’ he said.

CORRECTION - US President Donald Trump (3rd fromL), along with California Governor Jerry Brown (R) and Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long (2ndR) view damage from wildfires in Malibu, California, November 17, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by SAUL LOEB has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Malibu] instead of [Paradise]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump with California Governor Jerry Brown and Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long in Malibu (Picture: AFP/Getty)

PARADISE, CA - NOVEMBER 08: A home burns as the Camp Fire moves through the area on November 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. Fueled by high winds and low humidity, the rapidly spreading Camp Fire has ripped through the town of Paradise and has quickly charred 18,000 acres and has destroyed dozens of homes in a matter of hours. The fire is currently at zero containment. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Of the population of Paradise – 27,000 people – the majority have lost their homes (Picture: Getty)

California wildfires

Authorities say nearly 1,300 people are still missing (Picture: Getty/AFP)

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 8, 2018 a home burns during the Camp fire in Paradise, California on November 8, 2018. - At least five people have died in a massive wildfire raging in northern California, according to local authorities who were working November 9, 2018, to locate other potential victims. The Butte County Sheriff's Office said the victims were located November 8 in the town of Paradise, whose 26,000 residents were told to flee the fire's path. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP)JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

A home burns during the Camp fire in Paradise on November 8 (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Trump was joined by California’s outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats who have traded sharp barbs with the Republican administration, for his tour on Saturday.

He also visited Southern California, where firefighters were making progress on a wildfire that tore through communities west of Los Angeles from Thousand Oaks to Malibu, killing three people.

The president pledged the full support of the federal government.

‘We’ve never seen anything like this in California, we’ve never seen anything like this yet,’ he said.

‘It’s like total devastation.’

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here