Donald Trump travels to California on Saturday, where firefighters continue to fight against the massive fires that destroy this state, a democratic and progressive fortress that embodies the resistance to the Republican president.
The "Campfire", which took place last Thursday in the neighborhood of the small town of Paradise, destroyed almost 57,500 hectares in the north of the state. The fire is the deadliest in California history with 71 deaths and more than 1,000 still missing.
In the south, near Los Angeles, the "Woolsey Fire" has burned nearly 40,000 hectares since last Thursday, including a part of the Malibu resort, popular with the stars. He has killed at least three people.
Almost 9,000 firefighters were deployed on the two fires, which resulted in the evacuation of tens of thousands of inhabitants, many of whom were not yet allowed to return home.
Trump told Fox News on Friday that he was "just going to see the firefighters," while the White House said the day before he would meet firefighters. The Presidency has not revealed the exact program of its visit, the second only to the Californian countries since its entry in January 2017.
This great state of the American West is indeed on all fronts against Mr. Trump, from immigration to the environment through the regulation of firearms. The most densely populated state in the United States is also the country with the most immigrants and undocumented immigrants, largely targeted by presidential politics.
Evidence of this mutual hostility, Mr. Trump had for the first time denounced the maladministration of forests by the authorities of the "golden state", forgetting that these are largely under the control of the federal state. He also threatened to reduce federal funding, while Congress spent $ 2 billion on firefighting for the 2018 fiscal year.
– "Just the facts" –
The president has since changed his tone: he declared California in a state of "great disaster", praised the soldiers' work of the fire and assured the people of his support by explaining that he had a direct relationship with the Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. talked about the tragedy. This week he also sent his home secretary, Ryan Zinke, who is responsible for national parks, to the field.
On Friday, however, he emphasized the lack of preventive cleaning of forest areas. The area of the Paradise fire "should have been cleaned, there would have been no fire", he said on Fox News. Global warming has "perhaps contributed a little" to the rapid rise of the flames, but "the biggest problem is management," he added, emphasizing that his words "are not negative or positive, these are just the facts. "
The impact of the "Campfire" is visible more than 200 km south of Paradise, to San Francisco, where the authorities launched a warning on air pollution on Friday.
The "Woolsey Fire" for his part was about 80% and firefighters hope to extinguish it by Monday.
The research continues to trace the origin of the two fires. A complaint was filed against the local electricity supplier Pacific Gas & Electric (PG & E), who spoke about a high-voltage line incident just before the fire broke out in paradise.
California, a victim of chronic drought for several years, has experienced several major fires in a year, killing more than 100 people and burning hundreds of thousands of hectares.