Sep 17, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Gov. Jay Inslee describes “cataclysmic” fire conditions in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee sits in a suit and dress shirt

Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia, Washington. Photo: Axios

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) described the deadly wildfires sweeping the West Coast as "cataclysmic" for Washington state at an Axios virtual event on Thursday and said that climate change has made the problem worse.

What he's saying: "What we're experiencing in Washington is profound changes particularly in our grassland and our sage brush. It's incredibly dry, very hot, and as a result we have explosive conditions in the state of Washington," he said.

  • "These fires are incredibly cataclysmic. and the solution to this, ultimately, of course, we need to thin some of our forest, but we need to reduce this climate change, which is the ultimately cataclysmic situation we face in Washington."

What's happening: Seattle and Portland currently have some of the worst air quality in the world as mega-fires, which Inslee called "climate fires," have destroyed millions of acres across California and Oregon, and more than 800,000 acres destroyed in Washington state.

Go deeper: Wildfires are result of climate change and forest mismanagement, Oregon governor says

Watch the event here.

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