LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/CBS News) – President Donald Trump arrived in Northern California Saturday morning as the death toll from the Camp Fire climbed to 71 and the number of people unaccounted for jumped to more than 1,000.

In Northern California, the destructive Camp Fire is still raging.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, both Democrats, met Trump as he landed in California just before 10 a.m. to tour the areas affected by the Camp Fire. Trump toured destroyed homes in Paradise, joined by Paradise Mayor Jody Jones, FEMA admin Brock Long, Brown and Newsom.

Both Brown and Newsom have welcomed Trump’s visit, declaring it’s time “to pull together for the people of California.” Earlier this week, Trump threatened to cut off federal payments to California in a post on Twitter.

“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!” Trump tweeted. He later approved a federal disaster declaration.

He also criticized forest management in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that while climate change “maybe contributes a bit,” the “big problem we have is management.”

Trump reiterated those claims as he spoke to reporters on the White House lawn Saturday morning before departing for California. “We will be talking about forest management. I’ve been saying that for a long time. And it could have been a lot different situation,” Trump said.

Trump tweeted about his visit shortly before arriving on Saturday. He mentioned that he would be touring the state with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Reps. Doug LaMalfa and Ken Calvert.

The president incorrectly suggested that forest management in the state was largely controlled by the state’s government, when it’s the federal government that owns more than 60 percent of the land in the state.

According to Climate Nexus, climate change amplifies the threat of wildfires by creating ideal settings for them to burn. Climate change is affecting conditions in both our summers and winters in ways that contribute to wildfires.

The president is expected to head to Southern California, where the 98,362-acre Woolsey Fire was 82 percent contained as Saturday morning, with full containment expected by Monday. The blaze has destroyed a staggering 616 structures and damaged another 183. Three people have died in the fires and another at least three firefighters injured. About 57,000 structures remain threatened. The cause remains under investigation.

Several assistance centers have been established for those impacted by the fires in Southern California:

Comments (3)
  1. Rick Garvin says:

    Go back to Florida, it’s the weekend

  2. Lindsay Smith says:

    hah…talk about dangerous criminals coming to California..

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