Smoke From Wildfires May Be Carried Over to WNY

Katie Ramirez
September 16, 2020

President Donald Trump: "OK".

The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have all said global warming is priming forests for wildfires as they become hotter and drier. "Also leaves. When you have dried leaves on the ground it's just fuel for the fires", Trump said. It seeped into homes and businesses, sneaked into cars through air conditioning vents and caused the closure of iconic locations such as Powell's Books and the Oregon Zoo in Portland, the state's biggest city.

"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", the Democratic governor said during a meeting with the president.

A few minutes before the briefing, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden launched a scathing attack at Trump, calling him a "climate arsonist".

Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee slammed by Republicans for not visiting disaster areas, spoke from his home state of DE on the threat of increasingly frequent weather extremes that scientists have pointed to as evidence that climate change is supercharging the fires.

In California, the August Complex fire, which has burned more than 750,000 acres northwest of Sacramento, was contained to about 30%, and the Creek Fire northeast of Fresno, which has burned more than 200,000 acres, was contained about 16%. After a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry, they become really like a matchstick, and they get up, you know, there's no more water pouring through, and they become very very uh, they just explode.

"Some of the toughest folks you'll ever meet are people who live outdoors, unhoused, but it is getting to them", he said.

The blazes that continue to ravage swathes of land across California, Oregon and Washington, have killed at least 35 people since the beginning of summer and have forced thousands to evacuate their homes. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), estimated the fires had burned through more than 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) in the last 24 hours alone.

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An estimated one in 10 OR hospital emergency room visits are for people experiencing asthma-like symptoms believed to be related to the choking air quality caused by wildfire smoke, according to a report.

Trump has made little comment about the blazes in recent weeks, but at a Nevada campaign event on Saturday he acknowledged the scope of the disaster.

Most of the crews were sent to California, after a series of lighting strikes sparked numerous wind-driven wildfires.

Experts, environmentalists and loggers largely agree that thinning trees and brush through prescribed burns and careful logging will help prevent forests that cover vast tracts of the American West from threatening cities with fire.

Firefighters struggled to contain fires on Monday against high winds and low humidity. According to the report, officials have recommended people remain indoors, while some schools and public building have closed their doors in the meantime. "I guess that's the way they kind of work with the embers flying around", Westover said.

Since the start of 2020, the wildfires have burned over 3.2 million acres of land, which is about the size of CT. "After watching that fire I don't think you can do enough".

"I think this is more of a management situation", Trump answered, when asked by a reporter if climate change was a factor behind the fires.

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