Another rake conversation

About those fires

The death toll from wildfires choking the west coast of the US continued to rise on Sunday as authorities feared more bodies were likely to be found in the charred ruins of towns across several states, and politicians lambasted Donald Trump for his response to the escalating crisis.

It’s what he does so as not to panic us.

The White House announced that Trump would visit California on Monday for “a briefing”, a move that drew strong criticism from Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles.

“He’s going to come out here and probably tell us ‘I’m going to send you rakes’ instead of more help,” Garcetti told CNN’s State of the Union, referring to the president’s claims that wildfires in the state are caused by poor forestry management and not fuelled by the climate crisis.

Not even send us more rakes but just shout at us for not raking.

Trump issued a disaster declaration in August but has been largely quiet about the wildfires since. At a rally in Nevada on Saturday night, he said: “I spoke to the folks in Oregon, Washington … they’ve never had anything like this. But, you know, it is about forest management … and other things, but forest management.”

That part is true, but the problem is not failure to “rake the forest floor.” The problem is failure to allow controlled burns, with the result that there’s way too much fuel.

I can hear the fog horns from ferries out on the Sound right now, because the smoke mixed with fog is so thick visibility is a few yards/metres.

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