Sir. Trump, who had come under intense criticism for barely addressing the crisis before, interrupted a Western campaign swing to make a two-hour visit to an airport in McClellan Park outside Sacramento, where Air Force One came down through a smoky fog. Not far away, one of the largest fires, now largely contained, recently burned more than 363,000 acres.
As soon as the president got off the plane at Sacramento McClellan Airport, where the stench of smoke filled the air, he did not wait for his planned briefing to tell reporters that the cause of the fire was poor forest management and not climate change.
At his subsequent briefing, however, Gavin Newsom and his top environmental adviser pushed the president to recognize the role of climate change. Sir. Newsom, a Democrat, made a consideration of making it very polite and reaffirmed his working relationship with the President, thanking him for federal help and agreeing that forest management should be improved.
But Mr Newsom noted that only 3 percent of land in California is under state control, while 57 percent is federal forest land, which means under the presidential leadership as governed by federal law.
“As you suggest, I value the working relationship,” Newsom said. But he said climate change was clearly a factor. “Something is happening with the world’s plumbing, and we are humbly coming from a perspective where we subject science is in and observed evidence is obvious that climate change is real, and that is exacerbating this.”