At Least 35 Dead As Wildfires Rampage Along The West Coast


Fires have engulfed 3.3 million acres of land in California this year - a desolation greater in size than CT.

President Trump is correct that forest management is important but it does not fully explain the devastation now being wrought across California, Oregon and Washington states.

A blitz of wildfires across Oregon, California and Washington has destroyed thousands of homes and a half dozen small towns this summer, scorching more than 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) and killing more than two dozen people since early August.

More than 30,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, with wind gusts and drier weather on Monday threatening more destructions.

In Oregon, the blazes stretch from the southern border along the coast all the way up to Portland's suburbs, Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rebecca Ellis told NPR's Morning Edition on Monday.

There were 34 active fires burning in OR as of Sunday morning, according to the state's office of emergency management website. All of the state's forests are classified as being in "extreme fire danger".

Search-and-rescue teams, with dogs in tow, were deployed across the blackened ruins of southern OR towns on Sunday as smoldering wildfires still ravaged U.S. Pacific Coast states after causing widespread destruction.

Trump, who trails Biden in national polls ahead of the Nov 3 election, met with firefighters and officials in California after Democrats blasted the Republican president for remaining mostly silent about the largest wildfires in state history.

"So we have to do that in California", he said.

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday (Sept 14) called US President Donald Trump a "climate arsonist" for failing to acknowledge the role of global warming in the Western US wildfires, while Trump said forest management was the key to controlling the blazes.

After explaining how summers and winters have been getting warmer year and year, the President quipped back, saying: "It'll start getting cooler, you just watch". "We submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident: that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this". "We need a president who respects science", Biden declared.

Trump responded, "Okay. It'll start getting cooler".

"You're the reason they're setting fires up here", she said, perhaps referring to false rumors that left-wing activists had sparked the wildfires. How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?

Community donation centers popped up around Jackson County over the weekend, including one in the parking lot of Home Depot in Phoenix, where farmers brought a pickup truck bed full of watermelons and people brought water and other supplies.

In Washington state, a prescribed burning program hasn't yet begun on state lands, said Department of Natural Resources spokesman Thomas Kyle-Milward.

Trump has referred to climate change as a "hoax" and in 2017 pulled the United States out of the Paris accord that laid out an worldwide approach to global warming, while Biden says climate change is on his list of major crises facing the United States. "If this is not a signal to the United States, I don't know what it will take".

Scientists say the wildfires are all but inevitable, but that the main drivers are plants and trees drying out due to climate change and more people living closer to areas that burn.