Trump Visits California, Biden Talks Climate Change As Wildfires Take Campaign Focus
Sep 15 2020
LOS ANGELES - Firefighters in California are bracing for a shift in weather that could bring stronger winds Monday and stoke dozens of fires still raging across the state. One death has also been reported in the state of Washington.
Throughout his first term in office, Trump has rolled back a slate of Obama-era environmental regulations, including ones that placed emissions-standards on American-made cars and the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which would have limited carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants, and withdrew the United States from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. A total of 25 wildfires are now burning in California, 16 in Washington, 13 in OR and 10 in Idaho, though blazes have also emerged in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, the National Interagency Fire Center said Sunday morning.
Flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires burn in unincorporated Napa County, California, on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
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 USA west and officials warn of mass casualties.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is also delivering remarks on the fires and climate change from DE, although he is not now scheduled to visit the West Coast.
Among the people killed was Millicent Catarancuic, who was found near her vehicle on her five-acre home in Berry Creek, California.
State governors say the fires are a outcome of climate change, while the Trump administration has blamed poor forest management for the flames that have raced through the region and made the air quality in cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco some of the worst in the world.
California has already seen more than 3.2 million acres burn this year - an annual record, with almost four months of fire season still to come.
Two of the Oregon's largest fires that continue to threaten communities in Clackamas and Marion Counties remained completely uncontained Sunday, but more favorable weather and an easing of some evacuation warnings in areas indicate an improving situation.
But that hasn't impressed some west coast politicians - mostly Democrats - with many accusing him of playing politics with financial help and ignoring the role of climate change in the disaster.
"This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast".
Forest management, which includes tree thinning and brush clearing, is costly, labour-intensive work that is effective in reducing fuel for wildfires. "Please remember the words, very simple, forest management".
The FBI and state and local authorities say there is not truth to rumors circulating online that anti-fascist activists started fires in Oregon.
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.
"The reality is that my mom most likely didn't make it off the mountain", Roe-Zurz said.
"The science is clear, and deadly signs like these are unmistakable - climate change poses an imminent, existential threat to our way of life", Biden said in a statement.