President Trump says California needs to sweep its forest floors to prevent wildfires, but scientists say climate change is the root cause. Temperatures have been steadily increasing in the state. Gavin Newsom, in addition to local and federal fire officials at McClellan Park in Sacramento County, the base for firefighter operations in the state. Biden said he plans to rejoin the Paris climate agreement after Trump withdrew from it in 2017.

Our new Spectrum News app is the most convenient way to get the stories that matter to you. And there’s no question that drier fuels and hotter conditions set the stage for more wildfires and more intense wildfires that can rapidly grow to catastrophic proportions,” said Field, whose university is situated just a few miles away from the SCU Complex Fire that ignited in mid August and has burned almost 400,000 acres. “We have more large trees per acre than we’ve ever had because they have continued to grow, and underneath these large trees are young shrubs that fuel fires in the crown of the trees,” he said. ", “Here’s the deal: Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid red states or blue states,” Biden said. Kusel estimates the process, when done correctly in confined barrels, is exponentially cleaner than relying on natural gas for energy. Drought, climate change and bark-beetle infestations have all contributed to the backlog of trees, leaving some experts to push for creative solutions to managing California’s crowded forests. It’s science. Newsom urged him to consider the California perspective “where we submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident – that climate change is real.”. California's forest management isn't the problem. Prescribed and controlled burns were integral to the American landscape for generations. You drop a cigarette on it, you come back an hour later and you have a forest fire.”, USA TODAY reported Monday that "forest management, Trump's preferred solution, can range from clearing out overgrown vegetation – which can serve as kindling – to cutting pathways and roads through the woods to give firefighters easier access.

The Western United States is enduring yet another devastating fire year, with more than 4.1 million acres already scorched in California alone, at least 31 people dead and hundreds of others forced to flee their homes. The U.S. Forest Service ordered that all wildland fires be extinguished as soon as possible, eventually settling on the so-called 10 a.m. policy, which emphasized suppressing fires by the morning after they started. He called it “la baya de los fumos,” or “the bay of smoke.”. Multiple studies “consistently show that climate change has approximately doubled the area burned over the past 20 years or so,” he said. Still, as wildfires threaten to become bigger and more dangerous, Kusel is hopeful that a new locally based biomass market could offset the cost of thinning out the state’s forests by creating smaller, better-maintained facilities that do not release dangerous pollutants into the air. Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Gavin Newsom, in addition to local and federal fire officials, Biden's remarks came from outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History, the president threatened to make the state pay, forest management, Trump's preferred solution, 'Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay', Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. “When a fire starts in there, it’s unstoppable.”. So, while it is possible that climate change has played a role in increasing the size of fires, the primary cause seems to be forest management practices, which have changed several times over the course of the past 200 years. The state’s policy to stop fires as soon as they ignite resulted in a backlog of trees in forests now choked with brush and other dry fuels. In California, forest management also falls under the purview of the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. The ecosystems of California have experienced lightning- and human-caused wildfires for millennia.

It’s going to a take lot,” McMorrow said. "I wish science agreed with you," Crowfoot told the president. “But we can make it less damaging … and we can try to introduce smaller fires that can maintain habitats in a healthy state.”. “While it’s true that we need to do more prescribed burns in California and throughout the west, it is also true that that is not going to solve the problem.”. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allocate $1 billion over five years to Cal Fire to be used on fire prevention measures. Well, it’s enough for what we’re doing right now, but is that enough to get all the work that needs to be done in one year or five years or 10 years? Scientists say climate change is root cause of CA wildfires. “It’s really a fuel for a fire,” President Trump said Monday. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivered remarks Monday — from opposite ends of the United States — regarding the wildfires raging on the West Coast. “There have been multiple studies now that show rising temperatures and decreasing precipitation have contributed to about half of the overall vegetation readiness to burn that is attributable to climate change,” Dahl said. More than a century later, the researcher and his team counted 260 trees per acre. Biomass is considered a dirty word among environmentalists who warn that burning plant material and releasing it into the air can increase carbon emissions. In California, forest management also falls under the purview of the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. A recent Los Angeles Times headline declaring 2020 to be “The worst fire season. At a rally in Pennsylvania in August, the president threatened to make the state pay for its so-called mismanagement of wildfires. A firefighter sprays water on hot spots while battling the Glass Fire in Calistoga, Calif., on Oct. 1. more than 4.1 million acres already scorched in California, more than $600 million on fire prevention efforts, reshaping U.S. fire policy for years to come, Scientists warn climate change is worsening California’s wildfires. The thing we don’t want to do is have all the forests burn up,” said Field, adding that this year’s wildfires in California have burned 10 percent of the state’s 30 million acres of forest. “Forest management is a lot like gardening. © 2020 Here are three key takeaways from Trump and Biden's remarks on wildfires: This is not the first time Trump says "forest management" is to blame for California's wildfires. With denser tree cover comes the danger of bigger fires, Rogers said. Driven by the human release of greenhouse gases, climate change can be mitigated by transitioning away from fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, and agriculture, Field said, as well as by developing “natural climate solutions,” such as slowing the cutting of forests that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. “If we don’t do anything, we will face increasing risks of these devastating wildfires for the foreseeable future. ", Trump blames California for wildfires:'Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay', Biden pitched his plans to prevent climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions, in opposition to Trump's "climate denial. Studies by archaeologists and historians support a theory that Cabrillo might have been witnessing an early form of land management, including the burning of shrubs and chaparral to clear dry brush and promote better conditions for hunting big game. “While there’s no doubt that forest management practices have led to the accumulation of vegetation that’s ready to burn, it’s undeniable that climate change is playing a role in intensifying our wildfires in the west,” said Kristy Dahl, senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Figure 5: Palmer Drought Severity Index for July-September, 1895 – … Cal Fire is steadily receiving injections of money to do what it can to reduce wildfire risk, including better land management and training a new generation of foresters. “There is always going to be more work.”. He also proposed a $2 trillion plan to spur development of 100% clean energy by 2035. Newsom says climate change is to blame, The area burned by wildfires is expected to increase 77 percent by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, according to the California Climate Change Assessment, California Consumer Do Not Sell My Personal Information. According to the U.S. Forest Service, one researcher studying the Stanislaus National Forest in Northern California found records from 1911 showing just 19 trees per acre in one section of the forest. “Fires have always been part of our ecosystem,” said Mike Rogers, a former Angeles National Forest supervisor and board member of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees. Removing small growth from forests is also more expensive and not as economically attractive as focusing on large-growth removal that can be turned into timber, Kusel acknowledged. Biden's remarks came from outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History on Monday afternoon. In 1542, conquistador Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed along the coast and noticed smoke billowing up from what is now known as the Los Angeles Basin. “Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way. But finding buyers for biomass remains a big question for the Sierra Institute. “There’s no question the west has become warmer. About 57 percent of the forests in California are controlled by the federal government; 3 percent is state forest, Gov.
Alicia Victoria Lozano is a Los Angeles-based digital reporter for NBC News. What to Know About Voting Early in New York, Bill Kristol: Inside the Republican Support for Biden, Wildfires have burned 3.2 million acres, killed 25 people, and destroyed 4,200 structures in California so far this year, President Trump met with California Gov. Despite accusations, the state has excellent manage policies—it's just also built to burn. Wildland fires are increasingly following a now-familiar pattern: bigger, hotter and more destructive. Jonathan Kusel founded the nonprofit research organization Sierra Institute for Community and Environment in 1993 in an effort to better understand how state and federal agencies could put leftover organic material to use. Smoke from a wildfire … (AP Photo/Noah Berger). With California experiencing its worst wildfire season on record, a debate is raging between the Trump administration and the scientific community about what, exactly, is to blame for multiple blazes that have so far this year burned 3.2 million acres, killed 25 people, and destroyed 4,200 structures in the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Third, and most important, the active management of our forests will save lives. At least 35 people have been killed. "It'll start getting cooler, you just watch," Trump interrupted.

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