Trump visits California, Biden talks climate change as wildfires take campaign focus

Trump to visit California as deadly wildfires rage

Trump visits California, Biden talks climate change as wildfires take campaign focus

A spate of deadly and destructive wildfires has hit California, Oregon and Washington this summer, destroying thousands of homes and a handful of small towns, burning more than 4 million acres and killing more than two dozen people since early August. It had 14,000 dry lightning strikes that set off hundreds of fires, some that combined into creating five of the 10 largest fires in the state's recorded history.

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.

"My administration is closely coordinating with state and local leaders, and we want to thank the more than 200,000 people that are working on it and 28,000 firefighters and first responders who courageously and bravely are fighting out there", Trump said. The region's death toll has topped 30 and could increase sharply, with OR officials saying they are preparing for a possible "mass casualty event" if more bodies are found in the ash. He came with some of his employees to a wasteland of charred tree trunks just outside Mill City, Oregon.

"It's maddening right now we have this cosmic challenge to our communities, 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", he said. "You think of every family and every situation and every burnt-down auto, and there are just no words for it". "This isn't about forest management or raking".

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

Among the people killed was Millicent Catarancuic, who was found near her vehicle at her five-acre home in Berry Creek, California.

The Director of Oregon's office of emergency management, Andrew Phelps, said at least 10 people have died amid growing fears of "mass fatality". "So I ended up driving through and you couldn't see fifty feet (15 meters)".

Mr Stone called the decision "consistent with (Facebook's) past efforts to remove content that could lead to imminent harm given the possible risk to human life as the fires rage on".

Fires along Oregon's Cascade Range grew Saturday, but at a slower rate than earlier in the week, when strong easterly winds acted like a bellows, pushing two large fires - the Beachie Creek Fire and the Riverside Fire - toward each other and the state's major population centers, including Portland's southeastern suburbs.

Many were farmers trying to go home and feed their livestock. "The house is ok, but we leave now because the conditions are really not good".

He tweeted that a 36-year-old Puyallup resident was caught on State Route 167 at Meridian for setting a fire on Wednesday and is now in jail.

The FBI has released a statement addressing social media conspiracies that "extremists" were starting the fires after being inundated with claims.

Facebook said it was removing the posts.

Drought conditions, extreme temperatures and high winds in OR created the "perfect firestorm" for the blazes to grow, Governor Kate Brown told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday. "And this is a wake-up call for all of us that we have got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change".

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