California, Oregon, and Washington State residents are juggling two health crises at once: the global pandemic and expansive wildfires that have scorched more than five million acres during weeks of blazes. The raging wildfires have claimed at least thirty lives so far.
Amid the flames, tens of thousands of West Coast residents have been evacuated from their homes and into shelters, and tens of thousands more are packed and ready to evacuate at a minute's notice.
“We are experiencing fires, the likes of which we haven’t seen in many, many years. That is a resource challenge where they are stretched in ways where we haven’t seen in the last few years," said California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Wildfires are fueled by climate change.
Damage and economic loss caused by wildfires costs California tens of billions of dollars annually. Already, the fires in 2020 have caused more deaths and damage than in the entirety of 2019. Last year, fires claimed 260,000 acres and killed three people.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has been criticized for staying silent on the blazes for many weeks. However, he travels to California on Monday, Sept. 14 to be briefed on the wildfires.
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