California continues to battle three major fires at both ends of the state—north and south—that have burned through tens of thousands of acres, destroyed thousands of homes and structures, and killed nine people so far, creating apocalyptic scenes on the outskirts of Los Angeles as the blazes continued to smolder into the weekend. The northern blaze, called Camp Fire, located north of Sacramento, is set to be the most destructive fire in the state’s modern history, having destroyed 90,000 acres and 6,700 buildings so far. In Southern California, two significant fires are gripping the western flank of Los Angeles, forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate their homes. In the Thousand Oaks community, which is in the midst of dealing with a mass shooting at a country music bar earlier this week, the fires added to the misery, prompting three-quarters of the city to evacuate.
Right on cue, President Donald Trump on Saturday morning from Paris tweeted out a callous, unnecessary, and unfounded rebuke of the state of California grappling with a crisis. “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump tweeted. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
Authorities don’t yet know the cause of the fires. California’s governor-elect, Gavin Newsom, declared a state of emergency Friday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The northern California fire is only 5 percent controlled, according to authorities, while no part of the southern fires was under control, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Firefighters and first responders are struggling to contain the fires and provide assistance to residents trapped by the flames.
The scenes of devastation are staggering: