President Donald Trump has left the White House to make campaign stops in a handful of western states.
After appearing at several events in Nevada, Trump is visiting California on Monday to receive in-person briefings on the destruction caused by dozens of wildfires, which are now blamed for more than 20 deaths in the state.
President headed to Sacramento
Judd Deere, a special assistant to the president and deputy press secretary, informed the media Saturday of the president’s planned stop at McClellan Park just outside of the state’s capital on Monday, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Since mid-August, President Trump and Gov. Newsom have spoken by phone, and the White House and FEMA have remained in constant contact with state and local officials throughout the response to these natural disasters,” Deere said.
“The president continues to support those who are battling raging wildfires in a locally executed, state-managed, and federally supported emergency response,” the spokesman added.
Help has already been granted
According to Politico, Deere also noted that President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for the state of California on August 14 that unlocks federal assistance for both individuals and the general public.
In addition, Deere pointed to the president’s visit to California in 2018 under similar circumstances — out of control wildfires — and noted that numerous grants had already been delivered to California and other western states to aid in mitigation and forestry management efforts to reduce the risks of wildfires.
The outlet also noted that the choice of McClellan Park as the site for the presidential briefings was no accident. The former airbase is currently being used as a staging area for firefighters and aircrews.
One substantial question that remains, however, is whether Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a critic of the president, will take part in the briefings on Monday along with other local and federal officials.
At least 45 separate wildfires
According to an interactive map compiled by the Los Angeles Times, as of Sunday, there were at least 45 separate wildfires raging across the state of California.
The largest of all of the infernos is known as the August Complex fire, which began in mid-August and is only about a quarter contained after scorching more than 877,000 acres.
Much of the state continues to be impacted by thick smoke and poor air quality.