Published: Wed, September 16, 2020
Science | By

Donald Trump Says Trees Just Explode, Causing Wildfires

Donald Trump Says Trees Just Explode, Causing Wildfires

President Trump is set to visit California on Monday to assess the damage caused by nearly 100 wildfires burning through the West that have killed at least 35 people. When trees fall down after a short period of time they become very dry - really like a matchstick. and they can explode. "You don't have fires like you do in California", 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. But former White House officials have spoken out against Trump's statements, from then and now, telling The Independent that his refusal to acknowledge climate change, as well as his criticisms about forest management, were more likely centered on a political vendetta against states he sees as being in opposition to his presidency.

Gavin Newsom speaks during a briefing at Sacramento McClellan Airport, in McClellan Park, Calif., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on the western wildfires.

As the focus of the USA election campaign switched to the deadly blazes, Democratic challenger Joe Biden slammed the incumbent as a "climate arsonist" and said America would not be safe from the ravages of a warming planet unless it elects "a president who respects science".

The president and his administration have sought to pin the blame for the large wildfires on state officials, saying fuel-choked forests and scrub need to be thinned, more firebreaks need to be cut and flammable debris cleared from forest floors.

Newsom announced there is stewardship between the state and the U.S. Forest Service to get to a million acres a year in active forest management, but with this year's fire season at over three million, Newsom says it's a step forward but millions of acres are the goal, not just a million.

"Where you have lots of people living on small acreages close together, and you've got houses and barns and sheds and corrals and fences, it's very hard to do a prescribed burn", Gersbach said.

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

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is also set to tour the damage Tuesday. She has tweeted that Trump has "denied evidence" the fires were "intensified by the climate crisis".

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.

Residents of Arcadia, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, were ordered to evacuate Sunday as the nearby Bobcat Fire spread south through forested terrain toward the metropolis.

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

Firefighters struggled to contain fires on Monday against high winds and low humidity.

He said seven people remain missing.

Paul Clement described to AFP how he fled his home in Berry Creek.

Two new deaths were confirmed from the North Complex Fire, which swept at unprecedented speeds this week into areas already ravaged less than two years ago by the Camp Fire - California's deadliest ever blaze.

"When I came around the bend, everything was on fire - an entire hillside".

"I wish science agreed with you", Crowfoot said.

Almost 90 wildfires continue to ravage the West Coast, where over 5 million acres have already been scorched. President Donald Trump: "I - well, I don't think science knows, actually".

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