President Donald Trump pushed for aggressive forest management to tackle the west coast wildfires on Monday, but California Governor Gavin Newsom told him climate change is real and is behind the devastating flames.
“There has to be good strong forest management. Hopefully they start, ”Trump said when he landed in Sacramento.
He argued that forest management could go a long way. Many Democrats, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, have blamed climate change for the fires.
"We humbly come from a perspective in which we present the science and observed evidence goes without saying – that climate change is real," Newsom Trump said in a briefing about the fires. The president has denied climate change in the past.
Trump also clashed with another official at the meeting – Wade Crowfoot, the secretary of state for natural resources – who also said climate change was real.
“This summer temperatures have exploded. We broke a record of 130 degrees in Death Valley, ”Crowfoot said, telling Trump to turn right, grin, and tell Newsom something indistinguishable.
“We see this warming trend making our summers warmer and our winters warmer. We want to work with you to recognize our changing climate. If we ignore this science and bury our heads in the sand thinking that it's all about vegetation management, we won't be able to protect the Californians.
Trump replied: & # 39; OK. It's getting cooler. You just watch. & # 39;
Crowfoot replied, "I wish science would agree with you." – to which Trump said with a laugh: "I don't think science really knows."
Trump has focused on forest management as the key to solving the fires.
“When trees fall after a short period of time, they get very dry – like a match really … and they can explode. Leaves too. If you've dried leaves on the ground, it's just fuel for the fires, ”Trump said.
He said other nations are successfully using forest management.
"You are going to Europe," he said. “You are very, very strong in management and have no problem. They really don't have more explosive trees than we do in California. & # 39;
“You go to many different countries. I spoke to the head of a foreign country and they said, “We consider ourselves a forest nation. We have trees that are far more explosive than they are in California, and we don't have that problem, ”he noted.
President Trump has pushed for forest management to help fight fires, but Governor Gavin Newsom told him climate change is real.
Symbolic gesture: Donald Trump's talks with California leaders, including Governor Gavin Newsom (fourth from left), presented him with a climate change challenge
"I wish science would agree with you." Wade Crowfoot (right), California's secretary for natural resources, clashed with Donald Trump when he told the president climate change was real and urged Trump to say: It's getting cooler. & # 39;
President Trump arrived in California on Monday to learn about the deadly flames
Arrival: Donald Trump speaks to reporters after landing at Sacramento McClellan Airport, which also serves as an air force base for the California National Guard
Mill Creek Hotshots triggered a backlash to protect homes during the Bobcat Fire on September 13, 2020 in Arcadia, California
Proof of Destruction: Donald Trump sat between pictures showing the devastating effects of wildfire
Head to head: Donald Trump, along with Gavin Newsom (left), the Governor of California, at the table, who told him that climate change was real.
Message: The briefing took place between two California fire-fighting aircraft
Trump was informed of the fire in an airport hangar with Newsom by his side – wearing a face mask – and photos of the fire behind him. The nearest fire is approximately 60 miles away, but the airport served as a base of operations for officers fighting the flames in the area.
The president admitted he and Newsom had a rocky relationship but said they work well together to get federal aid to the affected areas.
“I know we come from different sides of the planet. but we actually have a good relationship. Good man, ”said Trump.
Newsom agreed that Trump's argument in favor of forest management was valid, but also argued that climate change, which the president has denied in the past, is a big factor.
"A month ago – literally to the day – we began a string of 14,000 lightning strikes over a three-day period. 1,100 fires set off 2.8 million acres in the last month, just in the last 30 days in an unprecedented California history. " he said.
Newsom, viewed as a possible future presidential candidate, was careful to remain courteous to Trump but made it clear that he knew they disagreed.
"We can agree, disagree. I appreciate your openness in this policy," said the Democratic governor.
"There's no question that this decade we have not done justice to forest management for nearly 1,000 years," noted Newsom.
"Please respect – and I know you do – the disagreement here now," Gavin said when Trump nodded.
Following the briefing, Trump presented medals to seven members of the California National Guard for participating in rescue operations.
Both presidential campaigns turned their attention to the forest fires on Monday. President Trump in California briefed on the flames and Joe Biden spoke about them in a speech in Wilmington.
Honors: Donald Trump presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to members of the California Air National Guard who saved 242 people from the forest fires on September 5
Honored: Donald Trump presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to: Sergeant George Esquivel; Sergeant Cameron Powell; Chief Warrant Officer Five Joseph Rosamond; Chief Warrant Officer Five Kipp Goding; Chief Warrant Officer Two Irvin Hernandez; Chief Warrant Officer Two Brady Hlebain; Chief Warrant Officer One Ge Xiong
Firefighter: The medal handover was the hangar where a California C-130 Hercules is stored between firefighting missions
Medals: Families of the California National Guard were in attendance to receive the Distinguished Flying Crosses
Thank you for your service: Donald Trump and the members of the California National Guard stand in front of one of the state's C-130 Hercules fire-fighting aircraft
Airpower: The seven members of the National Guard received the Distinguished Flying Cross in front of (left) a CH-47 Chinook and (right) a UH-60 Black Hawk
Courage: Chief Warrant Officer Two Irvin Hernandez and Chief Warrant Officer Two Brady Hlebain were among those honored by the President
Heroes: Donald Trump posed with the pilots and crew after handing over the medals
Trump has been criticized for Democrats for failing to speak up about the deadly fires, while Biden has been criticized for not visiting the affected areas. His run mate Kamala Harris will be returning to her home state of California on Monday to catch up on the flames on Tuesday.
In his remarks, Biden called Trump a "climate arsonist" and said the president's denial of climate change is what really threatens the suburbs.
Donald Trump warned that integration threatens our suburbs. That's ridiculous. But do you know what actually threatens our suburbs? & # 39; Biden said Monday outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History. "Forest fires are burning in the suburbs to the west, floods are devastating suburban areas in the Midwest, and hurricanes are endangering suburban life along our coast."
At election rallies in Nevada over the weekend, the president said repeatedly that the fires were about "forest management," a characterization he has repeatedly offered for such flames.
"It's about forest management, please just think of the words forest management, please think of forest management and other things," he said and also thanked the fire fighters and first aiders who responded to the fires.
Democratic governors – including Newsom from California, Jay Inslee from Washington and Kate Brown from Oregon – said the fires were a result of climate change.
President Trump in a briefing on the west coast forest fires on Monday
Democratic candidate Joe Biden said Monday that President Trump was a "climate arsonist".
A helicopter drops water to extinguish the Bobcat Fire in Arcadia, California
A chicken wanders through charred remains of the Beachie Creek Fire near the devastated Oregon Department of Forestry
And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti dismissed Trump's "forest management" argument on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday.
"This is climate change, and this is a government that is burying its head in the sand," Garcetti said.
"Talk to a firefighter if you think climate change is not real … this is not about forest management or raking," he added.
And Inslee called climate change "a blowtorch over our states in the west" on Sunday.
"It's crazy right now when we have this cosmic challenge for our communities on fire with the entire west coast of the United States to have a president who denies these are not just forest fires but climate fires," said Inslee on ABCs & # 39; This Week & # 39 ;.
Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, which set out an international approach to tackling climate change.
California had its hottest August ever with world record heat in Death Valley.
There were 14,000 dry lightning strikes that started hundreds of fires, some of which started five of the ten largest fires in the state's history. And there were back-to-back heat waves.
More than 16,750 firefighters battled 29 major forest fires across California on Sunday, according to CalFire. The deadliest fire was the North Complex Fire.
The fires burned 3.3 million acres in the state, caused smoky and cloudy weather conditions, and resulted in partial power outages for California residents. More than 4,000 houses were destroyed.
The west coast fires killed at least 35 people, including 24 in California, 10 in Oregon and one child in Washington state.
The White House has touted its support for the state's first responders and firefighters.
“THANK YOU to the 28,000+ firefighters and other first responders fighting forest fires in California, Oregon, and Washington. I have approved 37 Stafford Act statements, including fire protection grants, to aid their brave work. We are with you all the way! “Trump tweeted on Friday night.
President Trump visited California after the 2018 wildfires and toured the area with then-Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom.
He's only a few hours in California before setting off on a campaign freeze in Arizona.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) Climate Change and Global Warming (t) Donald Trump (t) California