At Least 35 Dead As Wildfires Rampage Along The West Coast

Katie Ramirez
September 15, 2020

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. "So I ended up driving through and you couldn't see 50 feet (15 meters)". "We have trees that are far more explosive than they have in California, and we don't have that problem".

President Trump on Monday awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross to seven members of the California National Guard who helped rescue over 200 people earlier this month from the massive wildfire.

On arrival in McClellan Park, near Sacramento, Mr Trump repeated his argument that the wildfires are due instead to insufficient maintenance of forest areas to make them less combustible.

"We thought we'd get out of this summer with no fires, " he said.

Fighting climate change is a key, motivating issue for young people and progressive-leaning voters that Biden needs to turn out to vote in the November 3 election.

He recently called the threat of climate change "undeniable" and "existential".

"Donald Trump's climate denial may not have caused these fires, and record floods, and record hurricanes, but if he gets a second term these hellish events will become more common, more devastating, and more deadly", Mr. Biden said in Wilmington, Del. And then Trump added, "I don't think science knows, actually"-before quickly moving onto another person in the meeting".

"We're concerned that the incoming front is not going to provide a lot of rain here in the Medford region and it's going to bring increased winds", Bureau of Land Management spokesman Kyle Sullivan told Reuters news agency.

But he insisted the blazes were "about forest management", which includes tree thinning and brush clearing.

"You go to many different countries".

After saying that "years of dried leaves" need to be cleaned up in forests because he thinks they are "fuel for a fire", Trump claimed that leaders of "forest" nations in Europe told him forest management was the key to preventing wildfires.

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Firefighter Steve McAdoo, who has run from one blaze to another in OR for six days, said his neighbors in rural areas outside Portland should clear trees near their homes because a week like they just survived could happen again.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee called the crisis a "a blowtorch over our states" in an interview with ABC on Sunday.

Governor Newsom reminded Mr Trump with a colour-coded, handout of a piechart on Monday that 57 per cent of forests in California were under federal management - and just 3 per cent are state lands.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.

President Donald Trump participates in a briefing on wildfires at Sacramento McClellan Airport, California, Monday, 14 September, 2020.

Trump, a Republican who pulled the United States out of the Paris accord on global warming because he found it too costly, has expressed his view that poor forest management is partly to blame for the fires that are raging around the West Coast.

Butte County, Calif., Sheriff Kory Honea said officials were able to identify only one of the victims - a 58-year-old man from Berry Creek, Calif. Officials have said more people are missing from other blazes, and the number of fatalities is likely to rise.

At least 35 active fires were burning in the state, as drought conditions, extreme temperatures, and high winds created the "perfect firestorm" for the blazes to grow, Governor Kate Brown told CBS news on Sunday.

"It's maddening right now we have this cosmic challenge to our communities, the entire West Coast of the United States on fire, to have a president to deny that these are not just wildfires, these are climate fires", he said.

In a Monday morning update, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said progress was made overnight in some of the hardest hit areas, including Butte County, where the North Complex Fire was classified as 26% contained.

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