President Donald Trump expressed sadness Saturday at the devastation in a California town, as more than 1,000 people remain listed as missing in the worst-ever wildfire to hit the US state.
Two huge blazes have created a serious smoke problem across vast areas in the state, and when Trump stepped out of Air Force One at Beale Air Force Base north of capital city Sacramento, the sun was struggling to cut through haze so dense it covered the base like a fog.
“This is very sad,” Trump said after surveying the remains of Paradise, where nearly the only people out on the road were emergency services workers, surrounded by the twisted remains of the incinerated town.
“They’re telling me this is not as bad as some areas; some areas are even beyond this, they’re just charred,” he added after looking at a street lined with melted cars, tree stumps and the foundations of wrecked houses.
The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history, the so-called Camp Fire, has now claimed 71 lives.
The fire has devoured an area roughly the size of Chicago, destroying nearly 10,000 homes and 2,400 other buildings.