US West Coast fires: Trump fans flames of climate row in California

President Trump has dismissed concerns over climate change on a visit to fire-ravaged California, telling an official there it would “start getting cooler”.

Blazes in California, Oregon and Washington state have burned almost 2m hectares (5m acres) of land and killed at least 36 people since early August.

Mr Trump, who has often denied climate change, blames poor forest management.

Earlier on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called Mr Trump “a climate arsonist”.

He told an event in Delaware that four more years of his opponent in the White House would see “more of America ablaze”.

During his visit to the US West Coast, Mr Trump repeated his argument that poor forest management was to blame as he met Californian officials involved in the battle against the wildfires at a stop near Sacramento, in the centre of the state.

Dismissing one official’s plea to not “ignore the science” on climate change, Mr Trump said: “It’ll start getting cooler, you just watch… I don’t think science knows actually.”

What else did Trump say about the climate?

When asked by a reporter in California whether climate change was a factor in the massive wildfires, Mr Trump responded: “I think this is more of a management situation.”

The president has previously criticised California’s forest management, pointing to Finland, where he said they raked and cleared the forests to prevent fires.

On Monday, Mr Trump also claimed that other countries had not dealt with the same level of forest fires, despite major conflagrations in Australia and the Amazon rainforest in recent years that experts attributed to the changing climate.

READ ALSO:  Creation of new regions: EC can't be blamed – Deputy Chair

“They don’t have problems like this,” he said. “They have very explosive trees, but they don’t have problems like this.”

He added: “When you get into climate change, well is India going to change its ways? And is China going to change its ways? And Russia? Is Russia going to change its ways?”

Mr Trump has previously called climate change “mythical”, “non-existent”, or “an expensive hoax” – but has also described it as a “serious subject”.

He pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement, which committed the US and 187 other countries to keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels.

Source: BBC