During a briefing on the state's wildfires while in California on Monday, President Trump discounted climate change as a concern—and cause. Responding to an official who asked him to not "ignore the science," the BBC reports, the president said, "I don't think science knows actually." Instead of discussing the science, Trump told him, "It'll start getting cooler, you just watch." Across the country, per Politico, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden offered a constrasting prediction. "If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?" Biden posed the question in a speech he gave outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington. The fires have forced the evacuation of thourands of people and burned millions of acres, per the AP. Dozens of people have been killed.
Biden tried to connect Trump's response to the wildfires to his broader actions. "He fails to protect us from the pandemic, from an economic free fall, from racial unrest, from the ravages of climate change," the former vice president said. Near Sacramento, Trump repeated his position Monday that the fires are caused by poor management of the forests, which he says includes thinning trees and clearing brush. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, told him that "we have not done justice on our forest management" but pointed out that the majority of the forest in Calfornia isn't managed the state—it's federal. "Climate change is real, and that is exacerbating this," Newsom said. The governors of two other states that are on fire also argued the point. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said "these are climate fires" and called it "maddening" that the president doesn't accept that. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the fires are "a wake-up call for all of us" to address climate change. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)