Evacuees from the Riverside Fire stay in tents at the Milwaukie-Portland Elks Lodge, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Oak Grove, Ore. (AP Photo/John Locher) SALEM, Ore. — Deadly West Coast wildfires are dividing President Donald Trump and the states’ Democratic leaders over how to prevent blazes from becoming more frequent and destructive, but scientists and others on the front lines say it’s not as simple as blaming either climate change or the way land is managed.
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have all said global warming is priming forests for wildfires as they become hotter and drier. But during a visit Monday to California, Trump pointed to how states manage forests and said, “It will start getting cooler, just you watch.”
Scientists say wildfires are all but inevitable, and the main drivers are plants and trees drying out due to climate change and more people living closer to areas that burn. And while forest thinning and controlled burns are solutions, they have proven challenging to implement on the scale needed to combat those threats.
As crews battled wildfires that have killed at least 36 people, destroyed neighborhoods and enveloped the West Coast in smoke, Trump contended that the states are […]
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