Heavy smoke, ruined houses, burnt cars: Donald Trump witnessed a desolation show in Paradise, a small town almost completely razed by the deadliest fire in California’s history.
The serious face under his cap “USA”, the US president, who was not wearing a mask despite the thick smoke still enveloping the region, noted the extent of the damage alongside the mayor of Paradise, Jody Jones.
“It’s very sad to see,” he said after spending about 20 minutes in a mobile home camp, where only an American flag brought a touch of color in the middle of the ashes.
“With regard to the death toll, no one really knows at this point, there are a lot of people missing,” he added.
Camp Fire has ravaged nearly 60,000 hectares in northern California. Five more deaths were recorded Saturday night, bringing the toll to 76 people killed in the fire, according to the authorities. And more than 1,000 people are still missing.
The fire, which began ten days ago and is now under control on 55% of its surface, has destroyed nearly 10,000 houses and more than 2,500 other buildings.
Asked if the visit had changed his position on climate change, the US president said: “No, no, I have a definite opinion, I want a great climate and we will have it”.
The 45th President of the United States has repeatedly openly questioned, in defiance of scientific consensus, the impact of human activities on climate change underway.
In the south of the state, near Los Angeles, the “Woolsey Fire” has burned nearly 40,000 hectares, including part of the famous resort of Malibu, popular with the stars. He killed at least three people.
Nearly 9,000 firefighters are deployed on the two fires, resulting in the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents, many of whom have not yet been allowed to return to their homes.
Most of the search for missing persons takes place in Paradise, where many retirees lived and failed to flee in time. Rescuers go from house to house with sniffer dogs looking for missing people.
“I will continue to search and hope that it will go,” says Jonathan Clark, in search of his brother, his sister-in-law and their son.