As the Golden State maintained a thick veil of smoke Tuesday, thousands of first responders battled the millions of acres burning in the firestorm that has killed at least 35 people all along the West Coast. President Donald Trump left the state Monday, informing officials that forest management was to blame for the catastrophic season, not climate change.
Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, arrived in her home state Tuesday morning, a day after the president, to assess the wildfires.
More than 16,600 firefighters maintained footing against the 25 major wildfires and two extended attack wildfires burning across the smoky state Tuesday.
Due to unrelenting and critical fire weather, blazes burned actively Monday, challenging crews; however, firefighters were able to contain two large wildfires Monday while responding to 33 initial attack fires.
“With no significant precipitation in sight, California remains dry and ripe for wildfires,” Cal Fire said Tuesday, noting scientific evidence for elevated climates this time of year.
During Monday’s fire briefing, Wade Crowfoot, California secretary for Natural Resources, urged Trump to acknowledge California’s rising summer and winter climates each year, insisting that the rapid shift needed to be addressed as a key factor in this year’s wildfire season.
“That science is going to be key,” Crowfoot said to the president. “If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together, protecting Californians.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also weighed in on the topic of climate change Monday, urging that it is a public health emergency.
“The toll of the natural disaster we face from unprecedented wildfires is increasingly measured in human life,” Becerra tweeted Monday. “How many wake-up calls do our nation’s leaders need to take climate action?”
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Gilles Toucas/Bell Phillip TV Productions
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