President visits the devastating wildfire at Paradise, California

Mr. Trump traveled to a burned trailer park at the Camp Fire

Progression map of the Camp Fire
Progression map of the Camp Fire, November 17, 2018. Base map produced by the Incident Management Team. Notations and insertion of legend by Wildfire Today. Click to enlarge. A full-size version of the map can be downloaded (large 3 MB file).

(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.

President Trump Camp Fire visit
President Trump at the Skyway Villa Mobile Home & RV Park in Paradise, California, site of the Camp Fire. Screen shot from Global News video.

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….”

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.

map Camp Fire
The red line represents the perimeter of the Camp Fire at 6:40 p.m. PST Nov. 17, 2018. The white line was the perimeter on November 12.
Skyway Villa Mobile Home & RV Park satellite photo
Satellite Photo of Skyway Villa Mobile Home & RV Park before the Camp Fire.
Skyway Villa Mobile Home & RV Park
The entrance of the Skyway Villa Mobile Home & RV Park as seen from Skyway Road before the Camp Fire. Google Street View.

The link below is to an excellent story in the LA Times.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

5 thoughts on “President visits the devastating wildfire at Paradise, California”

  1. Mr. Trump thinks “raking” California’s forests would prevent or stop forest fires. Even if the Finns managed their forests in this manner, comparing the two ecosystems is ludicrous. Most of Finland is in the sub Arctic, with a little tundra and a little humid continental thrown in. Forget that the Finns are not actively moving past the WUI into the forests.

        1. I live in Gothenburg Sweden. A 2005 hurricane type storm flatten entire forests here like matchsticks. So yes they do hav strong winds. What they don’t have are a lot of natural forests in Scandinavia. Almost everything I’ve ever seen is industrial forest plantations and this summer was the worst fire season ever in both Sweden and Finland. Above the Arctic circle in the north they had many temps at 92 degrees Fahrenheit. BBQs were outlawed or banned this past summer. They don’t know how to deal with fire here.

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