Donald Trump takes helicopter tour of scorched California landscape

San Francisco has ordered all public schools shut and its iconic cable cars returned to their stations as the Air Quality Index soared to 213 comparable to Dhaka Bangladesh and worse than Kolkata India

San Francisco has ordered all public schools shut and its iconic cable cars returned to their stations as the Air Quality Index soared to 213 comparable to Dhaka Bangladesh and worse than Kolkata India

More than 5,500 fire personnel are still battling the blaze that covered 228 square miles (590 sq km) and was 50% contained, officials said.

Randy Greb, who lost his house in Paradise in the Camp Fire, talks with employees of the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services near his tent in a makeshift evacuation center in Chico, Calif., Nov. 16, 2018.

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

Some 1,276 people are still missing in the state. Scientists disagree that poor forest management is primarily to blame for the fire's vast cost in human life and property, as opposed to a combination of factors including climate change and an uptick in population density near fire-prone areas.

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor", he tweeted.

"I would tell him that this fire has nothing to do with forest mismanagement".

Asked whether climate change was a factor "I think you have a lot of factors". "This could have been a lot different situation".

"The men and women that are fighting this fire are incredible".

Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, said Trump's statement attacking California management and threatening to pull funding was "ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning", adding that almost 60% of California's forests are under federal management.

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"No. I have a strong opinion".

"We've never seen anything like this in California, we've never seen anything like this yet". "Now is a time to pull together for the people of California".

In an interview with Fox, he claimed "nobody's ever seen what's going on over there" in California - despite it being the nation's most populous state, and media extensively covering the fire since it began.

Trump also backed in his earlier sentiments about raking, expressing his admiration for the fire management of Finland.

Around a quarter of a million people had to leave their homes, with many documenting unsafe escapes from the flames on social media. On Thursday, local authorities said at least 631 people were still unaccounted for, as rescuers continued to search for bodies and survivors.

Paradise was home to almost 27,000 residents before it was largely incinerated by the blaze on the night of November 8. He walked through the ashes of a mobile home and RV park in a small town all but destroyed by deadly wildfires. In this photo from Paradise, a staircase is the only thing left standing of what used to be a house. "Thousands and thousands of homes got destroyed with no trees around", Roslyn Roberts told Reuters. "It's not flawless data, but our thought process is that it's better to get that information out to help start getting people accounted for". These horses have unusual temporary stables at the lifeguard towers on a beach in Malibu as a result of the Woolsey Fire. It's also affected the nearby town of Thousand Oaks, which was still reeling after a gunman killed 12 people in a bar on November 7.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, California, as well as Texas and Florida, has one of the highest levels of human population in wildland-urban interface areas.

Fires are spreading through multiple national forests, including the Sierra Nevada National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest.

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