Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead


Speaking to reporters during the weekend while in California to see the impact of devastating forest fires, the USA president again blamed forest management, but said Finland had the answer.

While touring the burn scares, the president accidentally called Paradise "Pleasure".

Almost 1,300 people remain unaccounted for and the death toll from the country's deadliest wildfire in a century climbed to 76, authorities said Saturday, hours after US President Donald Trump surveyed what remained of a decimated Northern California community. "As big as they look on the tube [at this point he actually made the shape of a square with his hands, denoting a television set] you don't see whats going on until you get here", he said.

Trump initially responded to the fires by blaming them on "gross mismanagement" of forests in a tweet on Saturday.

He remembered telling Mr Trump "we take care of our forests", but couldn't recall raking coming up.

Usually vocal critics of Trump, the two men stood silently by, nodding along with sombre expressions as the president spoke.

"They're raking trees, little trees like this - nut trees, little bushes, that you could see are totally dry, weeds".

Some returned to a command center in the Northern California city of Chico on Friday after 24-hour shifts.

"It's not a global warming thing, it's a management situation", Trump said in August.

Yana Valachovic, a forest adviser with the University of California, told the Washington Post that managing forests would actually reduce the severity of the blazes.

"Managing that pine litter adjacent to our homes and buildings is super important ..."

Firefighters across the Golden State are now battling blazes which have calmed the lives of dozens of people.

Aside from the current Camp Fire, three separate fires in 2017 also rank among the top-20 most deadly in the state's history. Around noon on Sunday, they walked north along the shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway near Zuma View Place in Malibu, heading to a home they said they knew had burned down.

Finns have been enjoying being thrust into the world's media spotlight by Mr Trump, even if he has the wrong impression about their country.

Chiming in on the trolling, many Finnish people pictured their rakes helping them get through everyday activities.

But Twitter users, especially in Finland, were quick to disabuse him of the idea they spent their free time raking national forests in a flurry of memes under the hashtag #RakeNews a twist on his often-used defensive words "fake news".