Washington: US President Donald Trump has dismissed the role of climate change in the raging wildfires along the country’s West Coast, saying the crisis was due to the poor management of state forests, the media reported.
Trump made the remarks in a radio interview Sunday when asked about his recent meeting with Governor Gavin Newsom of California, one of the hardest-hit states by the wildfires, reports The Hill news website.
“Honestly, he’s been very nice with the words which is good,” Trump said of Newsom.
“But I said you’ve got to manage this. It’s a management thing. He said, ‘no it’s global warming’. I said, ‘when the leaves build up and you have a floor of leaves and the trees fall down and you don’t remove them because the environmentalists don’t want you to touch the tree, within 18 months that tree becomes like a matchstick’.
“I meet with foreign leaders of countries, and they have an expression, ‘Sir, we are a forest nation’. But they say, ‘we have trees that are far more explosive than the trees in California. We don’t understand how a thing like that can happen’. You have to manage your forest,” the President added.
Nearly 3.5 million acres of land have burned from wildfires in the state so far this year, 26 people have died and nearly 6,300 structures have been destroyed, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 7,900 wildfires.
According to Cal Fire, five of the top 20 largest fires in California’s history have occurred in 2020.
California’s peak fire season usually runs until October, but can continue until further in the year.
Besides California, Washington and Oregon have seen some of the worst of the blazes.
Scientists have said that the wildfires in 2020 were the worst in 18 years and plumes of smoke from the fires are so large, they have crossed the US and the Atlantic Ocean, carried by the jet stream, and have reached the skies of Europe.