State Watch

California governor on wildfires: ‘This is the new abnormal’

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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in a Sunday press conference called the wildfires ravaging the state “the new abnormal,” warning environmental disasters will only “intensify” over the next two decades. 

“This is not the new normal,” Brown said at the press conference to update Californians about the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history. “This is the new abnormal, and this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10, 15, 20 years.”

{mosads}”Unfortunately, the best science is telling us that dryness, warmth, drought, all those things, they’re going to intensify,” he added.

Brown on Sunday requested a major disaster declaration from President Trump, who spent the weekend blaming the wildfires on “gross mismanagement” by the state government.

State officials and fire experts quickly pointed out that the lands most affected by wildfires are those managed by the federal government. The Trump administration has slashed the budget for the agencies that oversee California’s forests.

Brown at the press conference discussed the pressing threat of climate change. 

“Predictions by some scientists are that we’ve already gone up 1 degree,” Brown said, referring to the Earth’s average temperature. “I think we can expect a half-a-degree, which is catastrophic, over the next 10-12 years.”

“We have a real challenge here threatening our whole way of life,” Brown said.

The wildfires are currently burning on both sides of the state, causing 25 deaths so far, with more expected to be discovered.

The flames incinerated most of Paradise, Calif., destroying 6,453 homes and another 260 commercial structures, according to The Associated Press.

Multiple areas across the state have been urged to evacuate.

Officials have not yet identified a cause for the wildfires.

Brown’s office in a statement to the Hill on Sunday said they are focusing on the wildfires and not Trump’s “inane and uninformed tweets” blaming the disaster on mismanagement of the state’s forests.

“Our focus is on the Californians impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to save lives and property — not on the president’s inane and uninformed tweets,” Evan Westrup, the governor’s press secretary, said in the statement.

Officials say the wildfires are so far considered the third deadliest and most destructive in state history, with 110 people still missing in the area, CNN reported.  

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