USA pledges to work more closely with states to fight wildfires

19 Août, 2018, 21:58 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • US pledges to work more closely with states vs. wildfires

President Trump addresses the California wildfires, arguing much of the current destruction may have been preventable.

More active management would be a better option, said Zinke, than "sitting there year after year wasting billions of dollars". The density of our forests is historical.

However, Zinke also reiterated an argument that he made earlier this week, blaming environmental groups for preventing dead trees from being cleared due to their opposition to the logging industry. When asked by CBS News reporter Weija Jiang whether he accepted that climate change was part of the problem, Zinke said "of course".

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday blamed "radical" environmental groups that have not allowed public access to federal forests and opposed the removal of dead trees from forests for the California wildfires.

The focus on wildfire comes as California and other states face longer and more destructive wildfire seasons because of drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change and homes built deeper into forests. Yosemite National Park's scenic valley reopened Tuesday after a 20-day closure because of smoke.

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In Washington state, meanwhile, officials have distributed masks to combat unhealthy air filled with smoke from wildfires that have blanketed the Northwest.

"It is unacceptable to me to have Northwest seniors and young people being afraid to open their doors in the morning because they are afraid of smoke".

On Sunday, Zinke said that the wildfires had "nothing to do with climate change" in an interview with local news station KCRA. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., "and we have to meet it with a very, very aggressive response" that includes drones, satellites and other technology.

"I guarantee you now, Seattle would definitely take a little bit of smoke instead of the eventual, all-summer-long smoke that we're getting", she said.

The plan takes effect in October 2019.

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