Updated 5:10 p.m.
By Mike Hagerty
With an historic 2.3 million acres burned so far in California’s 2020 fire season, Gov. Gavin Newsom says there is no question that climate change is real,and that what seemed like “radical” predictions of its effects a few years ago weren’t really radical at all.
At this point in the 2019 fire season, 118,000 acres had burned. And historically, September and October are the worst fire months in California, meaning that an already record year could get worse in terms of acreage, damage and death totals.
“I have no patience — and I say this lovingly, not as an ideologue, but as someone who prides himself on being open to argument, interested in evidence —but I quite literally have no patience for climate change deniers,” Newsom said. “It’s simply inconsistent, that point of view, with the reality here on the ground, the facts as we are experiencing them.”
Meanwhile, Newsom, who had been critical of PG&E’s preemptive blackouts last year, said the utility’s efforts this week to try and prevent wildfires has improved. PG&E announced Monday that it would be shutting off power to more than 170,000 customers in 22 counties to try and prevent Tuesday’s high winds from sending their transmission lines into trees and dry vegetation.
“There’s more precision,” Newsom said of PG&E’s blackouts. “There’s been more communication, but we’re not where we’re going to be and not yet where we need to be.”
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