September 9, 2020
“Never have I felt more of a sense of obligation and a sense of purpose to maintain California’s leadership not only nationally but internationally to face climate change head on,” said Gov. Newsom,” in a New York Times article.
However his words belie his actions. New oil and gas production drilling permit approvals went up 190 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to a Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance report provided to POLITICO. And 48 new fracking permits have been issued since April.
But Newsom is right about one thing – the fires raging in his state and other western states are the product of fossil fuels, as they are the largest contributor of greenhouse gasses which is what has caused climate change. The drought conditions that have lead to worsening fire seasons are a direct result.
Firefighters across the western states are seeing extreme fire behavior on many large fires. Seventeen new large fires were reported, bringing the national total to 96 large fires, which have already burned more than 3.4 million acres.
Fires in California, Oregon and Washington burned tens of thousands of acres yesterday, causing evacuation orders for many residents near these fires.
In California, the fires are growing by 1,000 acres every 30 minutes. In Washington, more acres burned on Monday than in twelve of the last fire seasons combined. In Oregon, thousands have been evacuated and strong winds and high temperatures have burned over 230,000 acres.
The most dangerous part of the fire season has yet to begin.
Two hundred thirty-three soldiers from the 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington have been deployed in support of the August Complex.
One RC-26 aircraft with Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) capability and support personnel from the 141st Air Refueling Wing (Washington Air National Guard) has been deployed to Fairchild AFB (Spokane, WA), in support of wildland fire operations.
Two MAFFS C-130 airtanker and support personnel each from the 153rd Airlift Wing (Wyoming Air National Guard) and the 146th Airlift Wing (California Air National Guard) have been deployed to support wildland fire operations in California.
Three wildland fire suppression crews and three overhead personnel from Quebec, Canada are supporting fire suppression efforts in the Northern California Area.