San Bernardino Engulfed in Flames as Obama Golfs on Vineyard Vacation

August 17, 2016

President Obama spent his twelfth day of vacation on Martha’s Vineyard playing golf Wednesday as a raging wildfire east of Los Angeles spread across 30,000 acres, forcing more than 82,000 people to evacuate.

While firefighters moved desperately to put out the brush fire, which was not contained as of Wednesday morning, Obama teed up at the Vineyard Golf Club for his eighth round of golf during the past two weeks. Former NBA star Alonzo Mourning and Obama Foundation chair Marty Nesbitt joined the president on the links.

The Blue Cut fire ignited in a mountain pass outside of San Bernardino on Tuesday, covering 300 acres by noon. Less than 24 hours later the fire had grown 100-fold, charring 30,000 acres by 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Tuesday evening.

"There is imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic, and structures," the U.S. Forest Service’s incident system warned. "Please follow the evacuation instructions, as this is a very quickly growing wildfire."

Authorities estimated 34,500 homes are located in the evacuation area.

Obama has not yet commented on the situation. He spent Tuesday afternoon with family and friends on a private beach.

Despite a brief break from his vacation to deliver a speech at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser on Monday, Obama has also remained publicly silent on the devastating Louisiana floods and violent Milwaukee protests that wounded at least seven police officers.

Obama on Sunday upgraded the emergency declaration for Louisiana to a major disaster declaration, authorizing federal authorities to respond with aid. He directed FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate Wednesday "to utilize all resources available" to assist in Louisiana’s recovery.

At least 11 people have died in the historic floods. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday that 40,000 homes were impacted while 30,000 people have been rescued. The Red Cross said the flooding is the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in 2012.