Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Sunday that his state looks “apocalyptic” with a smoky haze from wildfires that he blamed on climate change.
“The skies are a smoke that we have never seen before except two or three years ago,” the Democrat said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous.” “It’s apocalyptic. And it is maddening.”
Inslee detailed how the state is reeling from the wildfires, which have been burning in California, Oregon and Washington state and which have killed at least 33 people. He talked about a visit to the town of Malden where, he said, “80 percent of the homes were burned down.“
“The only moisture in Eastern Washington was the tears of people who have lost their homes, and mingling with the ashes,” he said. “And now we have a blowtorch over our states in the West, which is climate change.”
At a Nevada rally Saturday night, President Donald Trump told the crowd to remember the wildfires are “about forest management,” among other things.
Inslee blasted the president’s comments — expressing his frustration at the administration’s reluctance to tackle climate change and thereby work to prevent disasters such as these fires.
“We know that climate change is making fires start easier, spread faster and intensify,” he said. “And it is maddening right now that, when we have this cosmic challenge to our communities, with the entire West Coast of the United States on fire, to have a president to deny that these are not just wildfires, these are climate fires.”
“If this is not a signal to the United States, I don’t know what it will take,” he added.