(UPDATED at 1:31 p.m. PST November 18, 2018)
Yesterday President Trump traveled to California to see first hand the destruction caused by the two recent very large fires in the state. Air Force One landed at Beale Air Force Base and then Mr. Trump helicoptered in Marine One about 40 miles north to the Incident Command Post for the Camp Fire at Chico where he met with Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom. He also had a very short briefing from the Incident Commander as they looked at the progression map (see the map above).
To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Camp Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.
Saturday evening Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced that five more bodies were found, bringing the total number killed on the Camp Fire to 76. More than 1,200 are on the unaccounted for list, but officials warn that it most likely includes duplications and errors. According to CAL FIRE the fire has burned 149,000 acres, 9,891 residences, and 367 commercial structures.
The group toured a portion of the burned area in Paradise with the city’s Mayor Jody Jones, and made a stop at the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park.
While at the Incident Command Post Mr. Trump promised to include $500 million in the Farm Bill in what he called “a new category, management and maintenance of forests”. At every stop Saturday he reiterated that forest management was a key issue in preventing devastating fires, including later in the day when visited the Woolsey Fire in Southern California. Firefighters and California residents are still reeling from the President’s November 10 tweet when he wrote:
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!
During his visit Mr. Trump mentioned the “forest nation” of Finland as a good example that spends “a lot of time raking and cleaning….”
I grew up in Finland. a) it rains all year round. b) we have a lengthy and cold winter. c) Finland is a sparsely populated country with just over 5mil ppl, with land size ~3/4 of CA and most of it forests and lakes. d) no friggin body is raking the forests.
— Malla Hadley (@mallahadley) November 17, 2018
When a reporter asked him if he had changed his mind about climate change after viewing the damage, he said:
No, no. I have a strong opinion. I want a great climate. I think we’re going to have that and I think we’re going to have forests that are really safe.
The video below was filmed while the President was at the Incident Command Post for the Camp Fire.
On Friday Butte County officials asked those who want to help the thousands of residents who lost all of their belongings, to not donate clothing or other items, but to send cash. The logistics of accepting clothes, including cleaning, storage, and redistribution, are very space and time consuming, especially in light of the rain that is in the forecast. “Shelter and drop-off locations are at capacity and cannot take any more items!” the county said on its Facebook page.
Below is a map of the Camp Fire, updated at 6:40 p.m. PST November 17, 2018, and then, photos of the mobile home park taken before the fire.
The link below is to an excellent story in the LA Times.
There were stories behind the story. It started for me the morning of the fire. I live in these hills. I met evacuees as they got out, char on their faces, eyes glazed, telling the horrors of what I now call The Road- their run through fire… https://t.co/rQVNNxjP0i
— Paige St. John (@paigestjohn) November 18, 2018