Postal Service closes offices as wildfires continue raging across West Coast

Cheryl Sanders
September 15, 2020

As she did for the latter part of last week, Governor Kate Brown will be giving a 1 pm press conference today to provide updates on the current state of OR wildfires and the progress being made to contain them.

There were 34 active fires burning in OR as of Sunday morning, according to the state's office of emergency management website.

"The debate is over around climate change".

The governor also pushed back on Trump's perspective that climate change is not the primary cause of fires.

"I think this is more of a management situation", Trump said, when asked by a reporter if climate change was a factor behind the fires, saying many other countries were not facing a similar problem. However, numerous California blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest, and some of the largest are burning on federal land. He has said that Western governors bear some of the blame for intense fire seasons in recent years, as opposed to warming temperatures, and has accused them of poor forest management.

"It was worse than the Camp Fire, which I didn't think was possible".

The US National Weather Service also issued a "red flag warning" for other areas of the West Coast, including Jackson County, Oregon, where the Almeda Fire has destroyed hundreds of homes.

At least 35 people have died in California, Oregon and Washington, The Associated Press reported.

The state itself owns just three per cent, with the rest owned by private individuals or companies or Native American groups.

"We feel very strongly the hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting dryer", Newsom said as he stood alongside Trump, according to a pool report.

"The science is clear, and deadly signs like these are unmistakable - climate change poses an imminent, existential threat to our way of life".

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has said her state is facing "the ideal firestorm" and called the moment "truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast".

"It is maddening right now that when we have this cosmic challenge to our communities, with the entire West Coast of the United States on fire, to have a president to deny that these are not just wildfires, these are climate fires", Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday on ABC's "This Week".

She added: "This is a wake-up call for all of us that we've got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change".

What role is climate change playing?

"We thought we'd get out of this summer with no fires", he said. Nearly the same number of "megafires" - defined as having scorched 100,000 acres or more - were burning last week as have occurred during the entire last century, said Jim Gersbach, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Six of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred this year, officials said.

There's concern that two of the biggest blazes threatening cities and towns near Portland - the Beachie Creek and Riverside fires - will combine in the coming days.

In California, a prolonged drought over the past decade has killed millions of trees, turning them into potent fuel for the fires.

Other reports by iNewsToday