Kamala Harris, Trump Head to California to Assess Wildfires

President Donald Trump will travel to California on Monday to receive a briefing on the wildfires that have killed 35 people in the state. The Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, will return to her home state to survey the effect of the fires on Tuesday.

Harris will tour some of the damage caused by the ongoing wildfires, which are among the largest in the state's history. Trump will be briefed at McClellan Park, a former Air Force base, though it's not clear if he'll visit the affected areas as he did in 2018. Cal Fire frequently uses nearby McClellan Airport to launch tankers with fire retardant.

"The President continues to support those who are battling raging wildfires in a locally-executed, state-managed, and federally-supported emergency response," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere.

Harris and Trump are likely to strike different tones in California. The Democrat has accused Trump of denying the reality of climate change in his response to the wildfires.

Harris, whose brother-in-law is a California firefighter, said on 12 September that the deadly fires should not become a political issue.

"I just feel an incredible amount of concern and of course what we need to do is to give the families, give the firefighters and first responders as much assistance and help as possible. Nobody should be playing political games with this.

"The reality is, what Californians, especially those that are losing their homes and people who have family members who have lost their lives, they don't have any time for photo ops and political games. This needs to be about getting people the resources they need on the ground as quickly as possible," Harris said.

Trump caused controversy during his 2018 trip to California when he claimed Finland had prevented forest fires by "raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem."

He's repeated a version of this claim several times and associated the wildfires with mismanagement of California's forests.

"They've never had anything like this, but you know it is about forest management," Trump told a Nevada rally on Sunday. "Please remember the words. Very simple: forest management."

Governor Gavin Newsom has rejected this idea. Newsom placed the blame for the fires on climate change and tacitly called on Trump to accept the science and "believe observed reality."

"I am not going to say that the forest management practices in California over the last 100 years have been ideal. Not for one second. But there's something else going on, not just bad past practices," Newsom said.

Harris Tours a Training Facility in Milwaukee
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tours an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) training facility on September 7 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Harris is also scheduled to participate in roundtable with Black business owners while visiting the city. Harris will survey damage from California wildfires on Tuesday. Scott Olson/Getty Images