Western fires raise fight over climate change prior to Trump’s visit – Portland Press Herald

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BEAVERCREEK, Ore. — With crews battling wildfires that have killed at least 35 people, destroyed neighborhoods and enveloped the West Coast in smoke, another fight has emerged: leaders in the Democratic-led states and President Trump have clashed over the role of climate change ahead of his visit Monday to California.
California, Oregon and Washington state have seen historic wildfires that have burned faster and farther than ever before. Numerous studies in recent years have linked bigger wildfires in the U.S. to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas.
The Democratic governors say the fires are a consequence of climate change, while the Trump administration has blamed poor forest management for the flames that have raced through the region and made the air in places like Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco some of the worst in the world.
Scientists say the wildfires are all but inevitable, but that the main drivers are plants and trees drying out due to climate change and more people living closer to areas that burn. Forest thinning and controlled burns have proven challenging to implement on the scale needed to combat those threats.
Evacuees from the Riverside Fire stay in tents at the …

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