Trump ridiculed over advice to 'rake forest floors'

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Rer111918d

Trump on Saturday told reporters in wildfires-ravaged northern California that forest fires were not a problem in Finland because the people in the Nordic country "spend a lot of time on raking" leaves and "cleaning and doing things". In addition to the destruction caused directly by the flames, the wildfires have also decimated the air quality in Northern California, including in San Francisco; air quality monitoring network Purple Air has rated the area's "hazardous" air quality as the worst in the world since Thursday.

Almost 1,300 people remain unaccounted for and the death toll from the country's deadliest wildfire in a century climbed to 76, authorities said Saturday, hours after US President Donald Trump surveyed what remained of a decimated Northern California community.

Shortly after the blazes spread, Mr Trump tweeted that there "is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor".

"Here we're looking for very small parts and pieces, and so we have to be very diligent and systematic in how we do your searches", he said Friday. Rain was forecast for midweek, which could help firefighters but also complicate the search for remains.

"I think that California's been really frightful to him".

Brown noted Sunday that the fires surrounding the now-destroyed town of Paradise, California, is surrounded by federal, rather than state, forests. Pope Francis has prayed for victims of California's wildfires and freezing weather on the US East Coast.

Trump's ideas about how to prevent forest fires have also prompted some puzzled reactions. The fire covered 148,000 acres, fire officials said. "It's like total devastation", Mr Trump said as he stood amid the ruins of Paradise and pledged the full support of the federal government.

"There have been some back and forth between California leaders and the president", Mr Brown said. "I don't think we'll have this again to this extent. You know the floors of the forest, very important", Trump said Saturday during a tour of the destruction left in the wake of the Camp fire.

As of Friday, the only missing mountain lion was one dubbed P-74, a young male born a year ago.

In Southern California, Trump also met briefly at an airport hangar with families and first responders touched by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks more than a week ago.

Northern California's Camp Fire has destroyed almost 10,000 homes and burned 233 square miles.

More than a week later, firefighters have managed to carve containment lines around 55 percent of the blaze's perimeter.

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