Within minutes of the deadly Camp Fire’s ignition, several acres were ablaze as fire spotters stood by helplessly. While Capt. Matt McKenzie of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection responded quickly, firetrucks were unable to reach the blaze and helicopters and air tankers were grounded due to the timing and weather, according to a report. Within two hours, the fire tore through the towns of Concow and Paradise before it raged on, claiming thousands of structures and dozens of lives.
President Donald Trump and I both saw the devastation of the fire on our recent trips to California: piles of rubble recognizable as houses only by their chimneys and charred appliances, and vehicles melted to the pavement in pools of molten aluminum. We also saw the heroism of firefighters, first responders and volunteers working together to battle the blaze and help the community.
This article was published in CNN on November 26, 2018.