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Newsom 'evaluating options' on planned convention appearance as wildfires rage across California

Newsom 'evaluating options' on planned convention appearance as wildfires rage across California
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California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomLongtime Newsom adviser arrested on domestic violence charges US records over 14 million coronavirus cases Overnight Health Care: Biden asked Fauci to serve as chief medical adviser | COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo says she won't be Biden's HHS secretary MORE (D) may forgo his planned remarks at the virtual Democratic National Convention in response to wildfires burning across his state.

A series of storms has led to both fires and rolling electricity blackouts, leading the governor to evaluate options for his planned remarks Thursday night, Newsom adviser Dan Newman told Politico.

"The originally planned segment didn't make sense given the growth and severity of the fires," Newman said.

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Newsom has long been thought to harbor national political ambitions, and going through with the speech as planned could open him to accusations of ignoring problems in the state, Politico noted.

The governor on Monday had described his remarks at virtual convention as “more of an engaged conversation with another well-known elected official.” While Newsom did not name the official in question, Thursday is also the night Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE will address the convention, likely drawing broad viewership.

“I’m honored and certainly humbled by the privilege of having that time and that moment to engage with someone I have tremendous respect for,” he said Monday, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The governor said Wednesday that the state is fighting 367 fires. California has experienced nearly 11,000 lightning strikes and record-high heat. The fires include 23 “complex fires,” or those encompassing “an area that has multiple fires within a proximate geographic area,” according to Newsom. The 6,754 fires in the state since the beginning of 2020 far outpace the 4,000 fires in the state by this point last year, according to the governor’s office.