Trump, Biden focus their campaigns on U.S. West wildfires

People watch as the Bobcat Fire burns on hillsides behind homes in Arcadia California

President Trump sits down for wildfire briefing with Calif. officials

Biden said he and his wife Jill Biden continue to pray for those affected by the historic wildfires in the western part of the United States that have killed at least 35 people, displaced thousands and burned millions of acres.

Washington's governor called climate change a "blowtorch over our states".

Trump on his arrival also repeated his argument that the wildfires are due to poor maintenance of forest areas, making them more combustible.

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden criticized Mr. Trump's views on climate change on Monday, calling the president a "climate arsonist".

What's the latest on the ground?

At least 27 people in the states of California, Oregon and Washington have lost their lives as a result of the fires in the past week alone.

There were 34 active fires burning in OR as of Sunday morning, according to the state's Office of Emergency Management website.

Brown also wants to keep Oregon's dedicated account to cover housing relief for people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by wildfires, which lawmakers voted to abolish to free up money to rebalance the budget.

What are the politicians saying?

We saw very cold, hot temperatures.

"This is a wake-up call for all of us that we've got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change", the Democratic governor said.

Search-and-rescue teams, with dogs in tow, were deployed across the blackened ruins of southern OR towns on Sunday as smoldering wildfires still ravaged U.S. Pacific Coast states after causing widespread destruction.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at MBS International Airport Thursday Sept. 10 2020 in Freeland Mich
FILE- President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at MBS International Airport Sept. 10 2020 in Freeland Mich

While he applauded Trump's focus on vegetation management as a method of controlling and fighting wildfires, Crowfoot warned Trump not to "ignore" the science of climate change, arguing that it would be misguided to "sort of put our heads in the sand and think it's all about vegetation management" - a course of action he said would not ultimately protect Californians.

Biden mentioned Trump's suggestion that windmills cause cancer, his claim that energy-efficient light bulbs make him "look orange," his tossing of paper towels to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and his admonition that forest management officials in California should "clean your floors".

"This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast", she said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation".

Biden, citing a Pentagon study on climate change, even invoked reports from earlier this month that the president had made derogatory comments about fallen USA service members, and he conjured a dystopic vision of America when describing a potential second Trump term.

It isn't clear if global warming caused the dry, windy conditions that have fed the fires in the Pacific Northwest, but a warmer world can increase the likelihood of extreme events and contribute to their severity, said Greg Jones, a professor and research climatologist at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon.

As of September 12, USA Today reported 28 total human deaths directly caused by the wildfires: 19 in California, eight in OR and one in Washington state.

Officials say the resources deployed also include 36 fire engines and six water tenders.

Beachie Creek and Riverside fires in Oregon. Trump during his Monday visit awarded seven members of the California National Guard the Distinguished Flying Cross for the rescue of dozens of Californians during the 2018 Paradise fires. Mountain regions that are normally cooler and wetter have dried out more rapidly in the summer, adding to the potential fuel load.

Have you been affected by the USA wildfires?

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