"I think we're all on the same path. We do have to do management, maintenance. And we’ll be working also with environmental groups," said President Donald Trump as he walked along scorched earth and the remains of burned down homes and the smoldering stumps of trees in California. "I think everybody's seen the light."
The President's visit provided sobering images for the whole country as he toured the devastation in California. FEMA Administrator Brock Long, speakign to reporters alongside President Trump and California Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, said that the wildfires in the state may be the worst disaster he's seen in his career. Brown said it may be the worst disaster in California's history.
The President focused in several times on the issue of management of the forest to prevent future fires, stressing to reporters that he and the Democrat governors are on the same page when it comes to what he calls "safe forests."
Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs described the President's trip by air to the scene.
Trump’s helicopter traveled through thick smoke to get to Chico, California where he will visit an operations center and motorcade to nearby areas to tour devastation from the Camp fire.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 17, 2018
Air is heavy with smell of the blaze. pic.twitter.com/vUzhTn6fkO
As he surveyed the devastation, President Trump drove home the magnitude of the disaster.
“To see what’s happened here,” he said, “nobody would’ve ever thought this could have happened.”
He also thanked the press for covering the walk-through, and the fires in general. "We want to thank you all for coming and being here, and showing, because I think people have to see this, really, to understand it," said the President.
Over a thousand people are unaccounted for in the fires, and over 70 have been confirmed dead.