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Trump's view on climate change not changed despite California wildfire

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump (C) and California Governor Jerry Brown (R) view damage from the wildfires in Malibu, California, on November 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump says his opinion about climate change has not changed despite the most destructive wildfire that devoured parts of California.

"No, no, I have a strong opinion," Trump told reporters in Paradise, California, when asked whether what he saw had changed his view.

“I want a great climate. We are going to have that and we are going to have forests that are very safe,” he added as he assessed the damage from the fire which has so far claimed the lives of 76 people, while more than a thousand are still unaccounted for.

Trump later, however, seemed to admit that the phenomenon is happening, although he said he still disagreed with the state leaders on the issue.

“We’re maybe not as different, maybe not as different as people think. Things are happening. Things are changing,” Trump said on Air Force One alongside Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is also the state's governor-elect.

The president took the poor management to task for the wildfire despite the fact that the fires are believed to be more related to a record drought, high winds and a changing climate.

US President Donald Trump (2L) looks on with Paradise Mayor Jody Jones (R),  Governor of California Jerry Brown (2R), Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long (C), and Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newson, as they view damage from wildfires in Paradise, California, on November 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

When asked by a Fox News reporter about whether he thought climate change had contributed to California’s wildfires, Trump said: “Maybe it contributes a little bit. The big problem we have is management.”

Firefighters have so far managed to carve containment lines around 45 percent of the blaze’s perimeter a week after the fire erupted.

In addition to the high number of dead people, property losses from the blaze make it the most destructive in California history, meaning there is a further challenge of providing long-term shelter for many thousands of displaced residents.

With more than 9,800 homes burned to ashes, many refugees from the fire are staying with friends and family, while others are sheltering in tents or camping out of their vehicles.

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