Donald Trump has visited areas in northern and southern California that have been devastated by two massive wildfires, killing 76 people.
The US president, who has blamed poor forest management for the fire, expressed his sadness after seeing some of the devastation in Paradise, in the north, and meeting with first responders.
He told reporters: "This is very sad. They're telling me this is not as bad as some areas; some areas are even beyond this, they're just charred.
"As far as the lives are concerned, nobody knows quite yet. Right now we want to take care of the people who have been so badly hurt."
Mr Trump pledged that improved forest management practices will diminish future risks
"We do have to do management, maintenance and we'll be working also with environmental groups. I think everybody's seen the light," he said.
"I don't think we'll have this again to this extent. Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one."
Asked whether the scenes of devastation had changed his view on climate change, Mr Trump said: "No. I have a strong opinion. I want great climate and we're going to have that and we're going to have forests that are very safe."
The number of dead in the so-called Camp Fire increased to 76 on Saturday evening, while the list of people unaccounted for has grown to more than 1,200.
Earlier, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea stressed that it does not mean all of them are missing.
Sheriff Honea said the list of missing was "dynamic" and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings, as well as some who fled the blaze and do not realise they have been reported missing.
Some of the people have been confirmed as dead by family and friends on social media.
Others have been found safe, but authorities have not yet marked them as such.
The wildfire razed the town of Paradise, with a population of 27,000, and heavily damaged the outlying communities of Magalia and Concow, destroying 9,700 houses and 144 apartment buildings, authorities said.
Firefighters were gaining ground against the blaze, which blackened 222 square miles. It was 45% contained and posed no immediate threat to populated areas.
Searches were also continuing for those who perished and those who survived the deadliest US wildfire in a century.
Some survivors resent that Mr Trump tweeted two days after the disaster to blame poor forest mismanagement. He also threatened to withhold federal payments from California.
"If you insult people, then you go visit them, how do you think you're going to be accepted? You're not going to have a parade," Maggie Crowder, of Magalia, said on Thursday.
But Stacy Lazzarino, who voted for Mr Trump, said it would be good for the president to see the devastation up close, adding: "I think by maybe seeing it he's going to be like 'Oh, my goodness', and it might start opening people's eyes."
Mr Trump is expected to travel several hundred miles south to visit the families of victims of a mass shooting at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks.
In southern California, more residents were being allowed back into their homes near Los Angeles after a fire torched an area the size of Denver, destroying more than 600 homes and leaving at least three people dead.
More from California Wildfires
Several other fires have also hit the state in the last couple of weeks.