Donald Trump visiting California to view wildfire damage, meet with first responders

November 17, 2018 GMT

President Trump is traveling to California Saturday to view damage from deadly wildfires and meet with first responders, as authorities search for more people feared dead.

Mr. Trump departed the White House shortly after dawn, saying he plans to meet also with outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

“I want to be with the firefighters and the FEMA first responders,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “Many more people are missing than anyone thought possible.”

The death tolls from the Northern California “Camp” fire and a smaller fire near Los Angeles has risen to 71, and authorities now say more than 1,000 people are unaccounted for.

The president has toned down his recent criticism of California officials for poor forest management. But he said Saturday, “Everybody now knows that this is what we have to be doing... It should have been done many years ago.”