Fires raise fight over climate change before Trump’s visit to California
Sep 16 2020
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Bidensaid Monday that the United States is facing one of the most hard moments in the nation's history, with "four historic crises all at the same time".
The president's visit is to last only a few hours, before he heads to Arizona to return to the campaign trail.
Bushfires continue to burn ferociously across Oregon, California and Washington, destroying more than four million acres of land and thousands of homes.
The skeletal silouhette of burnt trees are seen after a wildfire swept through an R.V. park destroying multiple homes in Estacada, Oregon, Sept. 12, 2020.
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 National Weather Service warns of "critical fire weather" in southern OR and adjacent portions of Northern California and northwest Nevada as well as parts of eastern Idaho and southwest Montana. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will deliver remarks regarding the fires and his campaign's environmental policy from his home state of DE this afternoon. "And undeniable acceleration of the punishing reality of climate change on our planet, on our people, on the lives and livelihoods", Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware. In a step towards meeting that goal, the state signed an agreement last month with the US Forest Service to work on 404,685 million hectares of forestland yearly.
Biden likened Trump's management of the coronavirus pandemic to his "lack of a national strategy" to combat climate change, accusing the administration of leaving the US with a "patchwork of solutions".
Climate change amplifies droughts, which dry out regions, creating ideal conditions for wildfires to spread out-of-control and inflict unprecedented damage. His campaign platform calls for eliminating carbon pollution from power sources over the next 15 years.
Human-caused climate change is one thing science is very, very clear about.
Throughout his speech, the former vice president repeatedly cast Trump as a leader averse to scientific evidence and driven by political impulses, even in times of national disaster.
During the discussion, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom shot back at the president after acknowledging poor forest management is a part of the problem, noting that 57% of California forests are on land controlled by the federal government.
OR requested 10 fire strike teams or task forces to help with its response.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump has dispatched more than 26,000 federal personnel and 230 helicopters to fight the fires and has spoken by phone with Newsom for updates since mid-August.
Thick smoke and ash from the fires have darkened skies over the West Coast for a week, creating some of the world's worst air-quality levels.
Search and rescue teams, with dogs in tow, were deployed across the blackened ruins of southern OR towns on Sunday as smoldering wildfires continue to ravage the US west and officials warn of mass casualties.
Air quality across the Pacific Northwest state of OR was characterized by state environmental officials as "hazardous" OR "very unhealthy".
The National Weather Service weather prediction center posted the photo Saturday to Twitter.