Sep 13, 2020 - Science

Oregon governor: Wildfires are result of climate change and forest mismanagement

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the massive fires devastating the West Coast are a result of "decades of mismanagement of our forests in this country" as well as "the failure to tackle climate change."

Why it matters: President Trump has also insisted that the fires were "about forest management," but he's dismissed climate change. There's been a chorus of voices in the West Coast calling Trump out for his climate change policies or lack of.

  • Trump has questioned the existence of human-caused climate change and has started the process of formally withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Catch up quick: The fires have killed at least 31 individuals and forced tens of thousands to evacuate from their homes.

What she's saying: "About every year, for the last 10 years, we burn about 500,000 acres. This year, this week alone, we have burned over a million acres of beautiful Oregon."

  • "I stood up at a fire council about two and a half years ago, and folks came together ... to tackle the issues. The council had an extensive report and called for extensive investments in our communities, harvesting and thinning. Unfortunately, the Republicans walked away from the legislative session and we were unable to get that done."
  • "This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast. This is a wake-up call for all of us, that we have got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change."
Go deeper