US wildfires fuelled by climate change, California governor says

California Governor Gavin Newsom surveys damage caused by the North Complex Fire in Butte County, California, USA, 11 September 2020

The deadly wildfires sweeping through US West Coast states show that the debate around climate change is “over”, California Governor Gavin Newsom says.

“Just come to the state of California. Observe it with your own eyes,” he told reporters from a charred mountainside.

Fires have been raging in California, Oregon and Washington for three weeks.

Fanned by winds amid record heat, the blazes have burnt millions of acres, destroyed thousands of homes, and killed at least 25 people.

On Friday Oregon Governor Kate Brown said dozens were missing in her state alone.

The fires have burnt a total 4.5m acres – an area larger than Connecticut and slightly smaller than Wales – in recent weeks, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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