Drawing unprecedented national attention, the Camp Fire caused many Americans, both near and far, to voice their opinions and provide aid to the disaster's victims. The tragedy drew support, but also criticism, from many around the country.
The fire was covered by most mainstream media networks, with channels such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox running multiple segments on the disaster.
Corte Madera Deputy Fire Chief Don Stasiowski believes that this coverage did include some bias, potentially impacting perspectives of viewers.
“When it comes to the media, it all depends on what channel you watch. Some networks and news stations may be presented with a more factual point of view than other news networks that don’t have their facts straight and are in it more for political reasons,” Stasiowski said.
The fires also drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who mentioned the disaster over eight times on his Twitter feed. These tweets included praise for the first responders, as well as criticism for California’s fire-prevention techniques.
Trump reiterated his views on forest management in a press conference in Paradise, which he mistakenly called “Pleasure” multiple times, with current governor Jerry Brown and governor-elect Gavin Newsom.
“We’ve gotta take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest. It’s very important,” Trump said at the conference. “I was with the president of Finland and he said, ‘We’re a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things.”
Stasiowski says that Trump’s ideas seem a little far-fetched, and that he may not have all of the facts concerning forest-fire prevention. According to Stasiowski, the main cause of the Camp Fire was climate change, a fact consistently denied by Trump.
“He probably doesn’t have all the information that he needs. Raking the floor isn’t going to do anything,” Stasiowski said. “From our point of view, the problem is the changing climate. We have droughts, we have more heat, we have longer summers, longer dry periods, and that’s just getting worse.”
Stasiowski, like others in the fire management arena, is focusing on the future of flames in California; others that were more attached to this specific incident are still focused on the aftermath of the Camp Fire, which has left over 30,000 victims displaced according to CBS news.