He remembered telling Mr Trump "we take care of our forests", but couldn't recall raking coming up.
There are many ways to prevent forest fires, and President Donald Trump claims the Finnish president advised him on one such solution: raking.
The remains of 77 people have been recovered, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said late on Sunday, as it cut the number of missing to 993 from 1,276.
Authorities say full containment of the Woolsey fire, in southern California, could be as soon as Friday, Australian time; full containment of the Camp fire, in northern California, is not expected until the end of November.
Almost two weeks after the devastating Camp Fire broke out in Paradise, Calif., just 65% of the 150,000 acre fire has been contained and 1,000 people are still reported missing.
"They're raking trees, little trees like this - nut trees, little bushes, that you could see are totally dry, weeds".
On Sunday, mourners gathered at First Christian Church in Chico, near the incinerated community of Paradise, to hold a tearful vigil for the fire's victims.
"You know the floors of the forest, very important", Trump said Saturday during a tour of the destruction left in the wake of the Camp fire. "It's like total devastation", Trump said as he stood amid the ruins of Paradise, which has a population of about 26,000.
Trump also backed in his earlier sentiments about raking, expressing his admiration for the fire management of Finland. "We are just trying to figure out where we are going and what we are doing", she told Al Jazeera.
"Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one", Trump said of the fire.
Like Trump, Valachovic said the problem is solvable - but through long-term programs of community education, controlled burns, forest-thinning programs and economic incentives.
Scientists have said the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires in California and elsewhere across the West are largely attributable to prolonged drought that is symptomatic of climate change. This is significant, given Donald Trump's own, starkly different, response to the tragedy now affecting thousands on the United States' west coast.
The burglarized Cal Fire station was set up to help with the inferno, which has so far scorched 151,000 acres (236 square miles) and was 66 percent contained as of Monday morning.
Trump and his advisers have also previously blamed Canadian lumber imports as a reason fallen trees haven't been removed from forests, creating more fuel for the forest fires.