1. U.S. Secretaries Perdue and Zinke listen to forest service official
2. Perdue, Zinke and other officials on tour of area not badly damaged by wildfires
Paradise, California - Nov. 26, 2018
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zinke, U.S. Interior Secretary
"Let's work on making sure this doesn't happen again. It's just unsustainable. The president was here. He's engaged on it. And obviously we're here because the president's priority is, let's fix it."
4. Burned ruins of buildings in business district of Paradise
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ryan Zinke, U.S. Interior Secretary
"In my mind no doubt the temperatures are getting hotter, the season is getting longer. We're in drought conditions with the moisture content is much lower because of the drought. Now taking that as a backdrop, it doesn't relieve you of the responsibility to do what you can to mitigate the fires. And mitigating the fires is prescribed burns late in the season, removing the fuel loads. Getting diseased timber earlier rather than having millions of acres with disease and dead and dying trees"
6. Burned ruins of buildings in business district of Paradise
Magalia, California - Nov. 26, 2018
7. Perdue, Zinke and other officials on tour of area not badly damaged by wildfires
Paradise, California - Nov. 26, 2018
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Sonny Perdue, U.S. Agriculture Secretary:
"Someone did mention that there's an awakening. I think some of the people that have litigated against good forest management techniques are now saying that the pristine forest that they imagine are no longer pristine, when they're burned. And that's the we can see well groomed, well manage forests, protect and prohibit and preclude the type of devastation we see here."
9. Perdue, Zinke meet with local, state and federal officials in Paradise
10. Burned storefront in Paradise business district
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Sonny Perdue, U.S. Agriculture Secretary
"It's not clear cutting. It's coming in and thinning those forests. Logging has become a pejorative term of just massive hillsides of clearcutting and that's not what we're talking about. That's not what reducing fuel load is all about. We're talking about commonsense provisions of prescribed burning at the right times and coming and reducing all this chaparral and fuel load on the ground so you don't have these fires of rage."
Top Trump administration officials toured the fire-ravaged town of Paradise, where they met with local officials and pushed for more aggressive forest management to lessen the damage of increasingly fierce wildfires.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue were in the town of Paradise on Monday. Zinke said he has never witnessed such devastation, and costs associated with a deadly Northern California wildfire will likely be in the billions.
The Camp Fire killed at least 88 people and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes in the town of Paradise and surrounding communities. It was fully contained over the weekend after igniting more than two weeks ago.
The U.S. government has distributed more than $20 million in assistance for people displaced by the catastrophic wildfire in Northern California, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official said Monday as hundreds of searchers kept looking for more human remains.
FEMA spokesman Frank Mansell told The Associated Press that $15.5 million has been spent on housing assistance, including vouchers for hotel rooms. During an interview in the city of Chico, he said disaster response is in an early phase but many people will eventually get longer-term housing in trailers or apartments.
FEMA also has distributed $5 million to help with other needs, including funeral expenses, he said.
About 17,000 people have registered with the federal disaster agency, which will look at insurance coverage, assets and other factors to determine how much assistance they are eligible for, Mansell said.
Meanwhile, the list of people who are unaccounted for has dropped from a high of 1,300 to the "high 200s" Monday, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. He said the number of volunteers searching for the missing and dead has been reduced to about 200 Monday from 500 Sunday after many of those reported missing were found over the weekend.
Secretary Perdue suggested donating timber from the nearby Plumas National Forest to rebuild Paradise.
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