Trump Set to Visit California to Assess Damage Done By Deadly Wildfires

James Marshall
September 15, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden grimly predicted that "hellish" fires, floods, hurricanes, and superstorms would level and destroy America's suburbs if "climate arsonist" President Donald Trump is re-elected.

Trump sparred with officials during his visit to California Monday over the cause of the wildfires and the best course moving forward to prevent them.

"Wildfires are burning the suburbs in the West!"

More people are pushing out into wildfire-prone areas as population growth clashes with a housing shortage and an affordability issue, contributed to by the tech boom in northern California.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was tempered Monday in his meeting with Trump, saying: "We come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in - and observed evidence is self-evident - that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this".

"We feel very strongly the hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting dryer", Newsom said as he stood alongside Trump, according to a pool report.

After the governor took a tour of the emergency animal center that was set up at Camelot, he addressed climate change as the reason fire season lasts longer, which in turn makes fires more destructive and stretches resources thinly across the state.

"The debate is over around climate change".

"The 16 large fires in OR total about 878,000 acres of fire, while the 13 large fires in Washington are at about 676,000 acres", according to the Bureau of Land Management office for those two states.

2020 has been one of the hottest years on record, including on the west coast.

Ten deaths have been confirmed during the past week in OR, the latest flashpoint in a larger summer outbreak of fires accompanied by catastrophic lightning storms, record-breaking heat waves and bouts of extreme winds. And it had back-to-back heat waves.

A firefighter sprays water on a controlled burn Sunday while fighting the Dolan Fire near Big Sur, Calif. Millions of acres have burned in California and neighboring states this year.

"This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast, " she said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation".

At a rally in Nevada, Trump blamed the way states have run the land, saying "it is about forest management". But scaling up the costly, labor-intensive work as more people move into mountains and forests has many challenges. Millions of dollars are spent on such reduction efforts every year in Western states though many argue more needs to be done.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti accused Trump of perpetuating a lie that only forest management can curtail the massive fires seen in recent years.

"The science is clear, and deadly signs like these are unmistakable - climate change poses an imminent, existential threat to our way of life".

"Where you have lots of people living on small acreages close together, and you've got houses and barns and sheds and corrals and fences, it's very hard to do a prescribed burn", Gersbach said.

Warnings of low moisture and strong winds could fan the flames in hard-hit southern OR to Northern California and last through Tuesday. Tens of thousands remain under evacuation orders.

In Oregon, more than a dozen large wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres and killed at least 10 people, ABC News reported. Officials more than 20 people are still missing, and the number of fatalities is likely to rise as authorities search. "I don't think science knows actually".

In the small southern OR town of Talent, Dave Monroe came back to his burned home, partly hoping he'd find his three cats.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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