SACRAMENTO -- Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom deferred questions about assessing blame for the wildfires now gripping the state.
He met with current Gov. Jerry Brown for the first time since the election Tuesday and both spoke briefly with the press afterward.
Brown did not want the impending transition to a new governor to overshadow what was on everyone’s mind -- California’s horrific wildfires.
"The tragedy continues, the search for lives continues and the firefighters are doing their best and we want to express gratitude for that," Brown said.
The governor said despite the attention paid to the growing wildfire problem by him and the Legislature last year, the conditions for wildfires are what he called a new abnormal that only God can control.
"The winds are faster, the temperatures are hotter, the soil and vegetation is drier," Brown said. "This is unprecedented and it's a tragedy and we as human beings have to be humble in the face of it, but also resolute and determined."
Newsom reminded everyone that Brown was still governor and that whether utilities were at fault for the fires or if something else could have led to a different outcome would come in due time.
"We’re going to assess all those facts," Newsom said. "The governor is in the process of doing the same, obviously, and we’ll see where we are when the baton is handed."
While both Brown and Newsom are democrats, the next administration will have to deal with leftover issues like water storage, health care, the Delta Tunnels proposal and a high-speed rail that may go in a different direction.
But right now, Gov. Brown has expressed no concern.
"The new governor will take California in a very positive and a very creative direction. I would say the state’s in good hands," Brown said.
For now, Newsom said he’s already going over possible governor’s appointees for various agencies and departments, trying to figure out who wants to stay on, and who he wants to stay on so that the transition to a new governor is as seamless as possible,