California Governor Blames Climate Change for Increase in Wildfires

California Governor Blames Climate Change for Increase in Wildfires

On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown said climate change has made the state more susceptible than ever to fires that could devastate the state. 

Speaking at Cal Fire’s aviation facility, Brown claimed, “Our climate is changing. The weather is becoming more intense. Fire season has grown over the last four years. It’s gotten longer and larger. The big issue: How do we adapt? Adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott agreed that time was of the essence, saying, “It’s time to prepare your home for wildfires. The time was actually yesterday.” He added that there have been twice the number of wildfires in 2013 than there were in the same period in 2012; almost 23,000 acres have been burned, as opposed to roughly 2,000 by this same time last year.

The state has already spent $221 million fighting fires this year; four of the past six years, emergency fire suppression costs have risen over $220 million. The statewide snowpack water content is only 17 percent of normal. Most of Cal Fire’s 50 airplanes and helicopters that are normally resting on the airfield are already out fighting fires.

When a reporter asked Brown if he was going to see the site of the 28,000-acre Springs Fire in Camarillo, Brown replied, “I can’t tell you today.”