Donald Trump appeared to blame “explosive” trees and poor forest management for the wildfires sweeping across America’s west coast on Monday as he bowed to pressure to visit the affected areas.
The US president faced criticism from Democrats for remaining largely silent on the largest wildfires in California’s history and blaming poor forest management, rather than climate change, for the blazes that have killed at least 35 people.
“When trees fall down, after a short period of time about 18 months, they become very dry. They become really like a matchstick and there’s no more water flowing through and they just explode. They can explode,” Mr Trump said as he landed in McClellan Park, Sacramento.
Asked about the impact of climate change on the situation, Mr Trump said “I think a lot of things are possible”, but went on to say: “You go to other countries and they don’t have this problem, but they have more explosive trees, meaning they catch fire much easier. So we have to talk about that”.