Postal Service closes offices as wildfires continue raging across West Coast

Elias Hubbard
September 15, 2020

Top of the list is Portland in OR with an air quality described as "hazardous" followed by Seattle in Washington with an "unhealthy" rating.

Trump was visiting McClellan Park, a former U.S. Air Force Base about 10 miles outside of Sacramento that is used by firefighters as a staging area for large aircraft used in combating blazes.

At an election campaign event in Nevada on Saturday, President Trump said he was praying for everyone throughout the West Coast affected by the wildfires.

"It's apocalyptic", Washington state Governor Jay Inslee told ABC's "This Week".

As Newsom toured a ghostlike landscape destroyed by flames Friday, he called out the "ideological BS" of those who deny the danger. The impacts of climate change don't pick and choose. "Just come to the state of California, observe it with your own eyes", he said.

The governor's proposed line-item vetos to two measures, Senate Bill 5723 and House Bill 4304, would preserve almost $17 million in state funding or authority to spend federal money for the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Military Department and Oregon State Police, which houses the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Medical Examiner Division. According to Cal Fire, six of the state's largest fires have occurred this year. And it had back-to-back heat waves. Fires have engulfed 3.3 million acres of land in California this year - a desolation greater in size than CT.

Trump's comments belied the broad consensus among scientists that climate change is contributing heavily to the worsening of wildfire seasons - and that the problem will get worse over time, not better.

"We need a president who respects science, who understands that the damage from climate change is already here", Mr Biden added, presenting the opportunity to battle global warming as a necessary choice for Americans.

Forest management, which includes tree thinning and brush clearing, is costly, labor-intensive work that is effective in reducing fuel for wildfires.

Trump on his arrival also repeated his argument that the wildfires are due to poor maintenance of forest areas, making them more combustible. For example, pushing the US energy sector to eliminate carbon emissions from power plants by 2035 would mean corresponding expansion in jobs in the solar energy sector.

"They never had anything like this", he said.

BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath says that while natural factors such as strong winds have helped the spread of the West Coast fires, the underlying heating of the climate from human activities is making these conflagrations bigger and more explosive.

The White House said U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican, will meet with federal and California officials on Monday. "We have innumerable friends and neighbors who are experiencing the same horror alongside us in our community", he said.

Brown, like Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, has argued that the intensity of the fires raging in Oregon, Washington and California is a clear sign of climate change.

"This year, adding to the Gorge's Mosier fire, we also have fire pressure in numerous spots within southern OR and the Willamette Valley", she added. "Well, I don't think science knows actually", Trump continued.

A search and rescue team, surrounded by red fire retardant, is seen near burned residences and vehicles in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent, Oregon, Sept. 13, 2020.

A few moments later, however, he said: "It will start getting cooler, you just watch". "There is something going on, that's for sure, man. Every summer we're burning up".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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