Governor Jerry Brown warned his constituents that wildfires could be the new normal in California due to climate change.
On Saturday, Gov. Brown surveyed the damages caused by the wildfires in Ventura County, which suffered the most. Southern California is battling six blazes that destroyed scorched nearly 200,000 acres and destroyed 834 structures since last week.
The governor declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
During a press conference at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Gov. Brown emphasized that the state is facing a new reality—fires are threatening people’s lives and properties.
According to the governor, “This is kind of the new normal” noting that the humidity in Los Angeles is very low. He added, “This could be something that happens every year or every few years. We’re about to have a firefighting Christmas.”
Gov. Brown emphasized the need to fight climate change
Furthermore, Gov. Brown said, “With climate change, some scientists are saying that Southern California is literally burning up.” He pointed out that the situation could worsen over that next decades therefore that stated needs to plan and take action.
According to the governor, “We have to respond. We have to plan what we can do in the forest, in the neighborhoods. And we also have to do a larger challenge, which is climate change itself. I know that is maybe a little remote, but it is real. We are experiencing what it’s gonna look like on a very regular basis.”
Moreover, Gov. Brown said California needs “resources to combat the fires.” The state must also “invest in managing the vegetation and forests.”
On Friday, the governor said the White House approved California’s request for direct federal assistance to fight the ongoing wildfires. He expressed gratitude for the quick approval of the state’s request.
Thousands of firefighters combating wildfires
At present, 9,000 firefighters are working to contain the six wildfires in Southern California. Rich Macklin, the spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department said, “This is a complex fire.”
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties until Sunday night. The warnings means the areas are facing critical fire weather conditions because of gusty winds and low humidity.
Latest CA Wildfire Stats:
Homes threatened: 25,000
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 10, 2017