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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"Rare," record-breaking Colorado wildfires burn beyond normal season

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: David McNew and George Rose

The East Troublesome Fire is now Colorado's second largest fire on record, growing to roughly 170,163 acres as of Friday morning.

Why it matters: Authorities said there was "potential" for East Troublesome to merge with the state's largest blaze on record, the Cameron Peak Fire, but such an event was unlikely at this point. The two fires are only about 10 miles apart, per the Coloradan.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.