Wildfires destroying American states on west coast

Tuesday, 15 Sep, 2020

Trump is set to arrive late morning in McClellan Park, where heads of California's emergency services will brief him on the fires.

One person has died in Washington, where there were five large fires on Sunday. "This is the flawless storm", California Governor Gavin Newsom said.

OR governor Kate Brown said about 500,000 acres typically burn each year, but just in the past week, flames have swallowed over one million acres, pointing to long-term drought and recent wild weather swings in the state.

On Sunday, search and rescue teams, with dogs in tow, were deployed across the blackened ruins of southern OR towns.

President Donald Trump will visit California's Sacramento County on Monday to meet with officials about the wildfires, the White House announced Saturday.

Molalla, a logging community 40 km south of downtown Portland, was an ash-covered ghost town after its more than 9,000 residents were told to evacuate, with only 30 refusing to leave, the city's fire department said.

Trooper Ryan Burke, Washington State Patrol District 1 Public Information Officer for Pierce and Thurston counties said that two men have been arrested for arson.

Her comments echoed California Governor Gavin Newsom's statement on Friday that the fires should end all debate about the impact of climate change.

Major fires spanning several states have burned 4.6 million acres, national fire officials said.

At least 10 people have been killed in OR in the past week.

As the devastation from the wildfires raging across the western United States continues into its second week, former Vice President Joe Biden will deliver a speech on Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, centered around his plans to combat the growing threat of climate change and its contributions to worsening instances of extreme weather around the globe.

"This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast".

But he insisted the blazes were "about forest management", which includes tree thinning and brush clearing. "Please remember the words... very simple: forest management".

More than a million acres have burned in Oregon.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti accused Trump of perpetuating a lie that only forest management can curtail the massive fires seen in recent years.

"The thought here is that it should clear out today", he said.

A large high-pressure area stretching from the desert Southwest to Alaska brought strong winds from the east toward the West Coast, reducing relative humidity to as low as 8% and bringing desert-like conditions, even to the coast, Jones said.

The flames up and down the West Coast have destroyed neighborhoods, leaving nothing but charred rubble and burned-out cars, forced tens of thousands to flee and cast a shroud of smoke that has given Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, some of the worst air quality in the world.

One of Facebook's third-party fact-checking partners, PolitiFact, wrote last Thursday on its website that dozens of posts blaming Antifa - a largely unstructured, far-left movement - for the fires had been flagged by Facebook's systems, and that collectively the posts had been shared thousands of times.

"The reality is that my mom most likely didn't make it off the mountain", Roe-Zurz said.