Trump heads to California to visit wildfire victims

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP California, USA Nov 17, 2018, 06.01 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump left for California early Saturday morning (November 17) to assess the damage from deadly wildfires that have killed at least 70 people and displaced hundreds on the US west coast.

Recovery teams are scouring the flamed-ravaged northern California town of Paradise for more victims as authorities sought clues to the fate of about 1,000 people reported missing in the state's deadliest wildfire on record.

Authorities attribute the Camp Fire's high death toll partly to the speed with which flames raced through the town with little advance warning, driven by howling winds and fueled by drought-desiccated scrub and trees.

Trump, who has taken to Twitter to blame the recent spate of fires on forest mismanagement, doubled down on Saturday, telling reporters at the White House he would discuss the issue of forest management during his visit.

Trump is due to tour the fire zones to meet residents displaced by the giant blaze. Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom are expected to join Trump on his tour.

This is Trump's second visit to California since taking office.

Story highlights

The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history, the so-called Camp Fire, has now claimed 71 lives after authorities found eight additional sets of human remains.