Three people were killed in another wildfire in Southern California, bringing the deaths statewide to at least 74.
The death toll in the Camp Fire could rise as searchers comb through the ruins looking for human remains, a grim but important task that involves more than 10,000 destroyed structures.
More than 1,000 people are listed as unaccounted for, but Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said it may include names of survivors who don’t know they’ve been reported missing, as well as duplicates and name misspellings.
Nichole Jolly, a nurse from Paradise who fled from a hospital that caught fire, met with Trump and said “it was wonderful to have his support, with our community.”
“I mean, during that whole time we all felt completely helpless,” she said. “And just the fact that he wants to help and he wants to try and figure something else out to prevent this from happening in a different community — it’s heartwarming knowing that he does care.”
Jolly said the message she wanted to send was that displaced residents need financial assistance.
“There’s rain coming, there’s kids sleeping in tents. There’s families living in motorhomes in driveways,” she said. “And insurance isn’t happening fast enough.”
Trump was joined in Paradise by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.
“People have to see this to understand it,” Trump said as he surveyed what was once the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park.
In Paradise, Trump talked about looking to other countries like Finland on how to successfully manage California’s forests. Trump’s comments about forest management last week as the fires raged sparked criticism from firefighters groups in California.
The president later flew to the scene of the Woolsey Fire, which also broke out Nov. 8 and has burned more than 98,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. It’s destroyed at least 836 homes and other structures, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.
Around 200,000 people were under evacuation orders at the height of the fire. The Woolsey Fire was 82 percent contained as of Saturday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.
Trump visited Malibu, the seaside community that was forced to evacuate.
“This is incredible,” Trump said. “We’re in Malibu, and a certain section of Malibu that was lovely. You don’t get much better than this, and you see the devastation.”
He praised government officials and first responders, calling the evacuation orders “the right decision.”
“It’s horrible, but it’s also pretty incredible, the job they’ve done,” Trump said.
Trump was asked Saturday in Northern California whether seeing the devastation of the fires firsthand had changed his opinion on climate change.
“No. I have a strong opinion. I want great climate, and we’re going to have a forest that is very safe. We can’t go through this every year,” Trump said.