Trump, Biden Focus on West Coast Wildfires

A woman holds her dog after several days of staying in a tent at an evacuation center at the Milwaukie Portland Elks Lodge in Oak Grove Ore

The governors of California and OR - the states worst hit this season - say climate change is largely responsible.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday that the United States is facing one of the most hard moments in the nation's history, with "four historic crises all at the same time". Trump has characterized such measures as the agenda of the far left, and out of synch with American attitudes about energy.

Biden said, savaging Trump for failing to "take responsibility" for the ongoing wildfire crisis.

Trump traveled to Northern California to be briefed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state and federal officials.

"I was talking to the head of a foreign country and they said, 'We consider ourselves a forest nation". Trump offered no evidence to support his claim, and wildfire experts and forest managers say raking leaves makes no sense for vast US wilderness and forests.

"It'll start getting cooler", Trump, a longtime skeptic of climate change, retorted on Monday.

California's Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot again pleaded for Trump's understanding on the need to fight climate change, listing how a "warming trend" has sent temperatures soaring to record-breaking levels in both the summer and winter.

Mr Trump has previously called climate change "mythical", "non-existent", or "an expensive hoax" - but has also described it as a "serious subject".

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"Donald Trump's climate denial may not have caused these fires and record floods and record hurricanes, but if he gets a second term, these hellish events will continue to become more common, more devastating and more deadly", Biden said. To care for everyone. To defend us from every attack, seen and unseen. "Always and without exception". Vehicle and truck emissions are the single biggest contributor to climate change, and California has always been empowered to set its own rules. "It's science, and our response should be the same".

Beachie Creek and Riverside fires in Oregon. The blaze, part of the lightning-sparked North Complex, expanded at a critical rate of spread as winds buffeted the region.

Throughout his speech, the former vice president repeatedly cast Trump as a leader averse to scientific evidence and driven by political impulses, even in times of national disaster. Officials have said dozens of people are missing and warned that the death toll could rise.

"This is another crisis".

"Science knows", Mr Biden tweeted a short time later. "We have innumerable friends and neighbors who are experiencing the same horror alongside us in our community", he said.

"Maybe there is a parallel universe where a pot on the stove with the burner turned to high 'starts getting cooler.' But that is not our universe", said Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field. "You got to clean your forest'".

Biden, citing a Pentagon study on climate change, even invoked reports from earlier this month that the president had made derogatory comments about fallen US service members, and he conjured a dystopic vision of America when describing a potential second Trump term. White House adviser Peter Navarro echoed that Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union", saying that for many years in California, "particularly because of budget cutbacks, there was no inclination to manage our forests".

An analysis out in August from Stanford climate and wildfire researcher Michael Goss and others found that a almost 2-degree (1 Celsius) rise in autumn temperatures and 30 per cent drop in rainfall has more than doubled the number of autumn days with extreme fire weather over the past 40 years.

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