(CNN)The governors of California and Nevada are imploring the federal government for more resources to battle the dozens of unrelenting wildfires intensifying in the West.
Wildfires have burned a combined area the size of Delaware and Rhode Island — and then some “We need help. We need help on the federal side. We need more people coming in. We need more resources. We need more air support. We need more people and more boots on the ground in order to make this a more fair fight in terms of fighting these fires,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a joint news conference with California Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday.The governors toured damage caused by the Tamarack Fire, which has burned 68,497 acres spanning the border of the two states since it was sparked by lightning on July, 4, according to InciWeb, the clearinghouse for fire information in the US. It was 59% contained as of Wednesday evening.The Tamarack Fire is one of 81 large wildfires currently burning in the US, mostly in the West.”Inevitably, there will be more of these,” Newsom said at the news conference.Read MoreThe dozens of large active wildfires have burned more than 1.6 million acres across 12 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. In California, six active wildfires have burned 347,616 acres. This year’s devastating fire season in California has scorched close to four times the number of acres as this time last year.They dodged flames pushed by 30 mph winds. Crews fighting the huge Bootleg Fire still are trying to tame itIn Oregon, severe drought conditions helped make way for the Bootleg Fire to become the nation’s largest, scorching 413,400 acres and destroying hundreds of structures and vehicles in its way. It was 53% contained late Wednesday, according to InciWeb. Firefighters in the area got some relief this week thanks to a break in the heat and light rain.”The cooler temperatures and precipitation yesterday were a welcome change,” said incident meteorologist Chris Foltz in the daily update on InciWeb. More than half an inch of rain fell on parts of the fire, Foltz said. “Not all areas of the fire received rain, but overall the cooler, more humid conditions are beneficial for the firefighting crews.” Crews remain on guard as warmer temperatures will return and the humidity will drop over the next few days, according to InciWeb. Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighter Brentt Call walks through a burned over area of the Bootleg Fire near Klamath Falls, Oregon, on Tuesday, July 27.Hide Caption 1 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tour an area destroyed by the Tamarack Fire in Gardnerville, Nevada, on Wednesday, July 28. Hide Caption 2 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestCal Fire Capts. Tristan Gale, left, and Derek Leong monitor a firing operation in California’s Lassen National Forest on Monday, July 26. Crews had set a ground fire to stop the Dixie Fire from spreading.Hide Caption 3 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters try to reach a fire site in Quincy, California, on Sunday, July 25.Hide Caption 4 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestVolunteers sort clothing at a donation shelter for those affected by the Bootleg Fire in Bly, Oregon.Hide Caption 5 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestScott Griffin surveys his property, which was destroyed by the Bootleg Fire in Sycan Estates, Oregon.Hide Caption 6 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFlames consume a home as the Dixie Fire tears through the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, California, on Saturday, July 24.Hide Caption 7 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestPeople stand behind the fire line as flames from the Steptoe Canyon Fire spread through dry grass in Colton, Washington, on Thursday, July 22.Hide Caption 8 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestPlumes of smoke from the Dixie Fire rise above California’s Plumas National Forest, near the Pacific Gas and Electric Rock Creek Power House, on Wednesday, July 21.Hide Caption 9 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters walk near a wildfire in Topanga, California, on July 19.Hide Caption 10 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA firefighter does mop-up work in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, which has been struggling with the Bootleg Fire in Oregon.Hide Caption 11 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA car is charred by the Bootleg Fire along a mountain road near Bly, Oregon.Hide Caption 12 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestNicolas Bey, 11, hugs his father, Sayyid, near a donated trailer they are using after their home was burned in the Bootleg Fire near Beatty, Oregon.Hide Caption 13 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters extinguish hot spots in an area affected by the Bootleg Fire near Bly, Oregon.Hide Caption 14 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA bear cub clings to a tree after being spotted by a safety officer at the Bootleg Fire in Oregon.Hide Caption 15 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters work to protect Markleeville, California, from the Tamarack Fire on July 17. The Tamarack Fire was started by a lightning strike. Hide Caption 16 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestThe Tamarack Fire burns in Markleeville, near the California-Nevada border, on July 17.Hide Caption 17 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA member of the Northwest Incident Management Team 12 holds a map of the Chuweah Creek Fire as wildfires devastated Nespelem, Washington, on July 16.Hide Caption 18 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA cloud from the Bootleg Fire drifts into the air near Bly, Oregon, on July 16.Hide Caption 19 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters spray water from the Union Pacific Railroad’s fire train while battling the Dixie Fire in California’s Plumas National Forest on July 16.Hide Caption 20 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestHorses climb a hillside that was burned by the Chuweah Creek Fire in eastern Washington.Hide Caption 21 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFire from the Bootleg Fire illuminates smoke near Bly, Oregon, on the night of July 16.Hide Caption 22 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA firefighter battles the Bootleg Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, along the Oregon and California border, on July 15.Hide Caption 23 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestA firefighting aircraft drops flame retardant on the Bootleg Fire in Bly, Oregon, on July 15.Hide Caption 24 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters dig away at hot spots underneath stumps and brush after flames from the Snake River Complex Fire swept through the area south of Lewiston, Idaho, on July 15.Hide Caption 25 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestBurned cars sit outside a home that was destroyed by the Chuweah Creek Fire in Nespelem, Washington.Hide Caption 26 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestEvacuee Dee McCarley hugs her cat Bunny at a Red Cross center in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on July 14.Hide Caption 27 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestAn airplane drops fire retardant on the Chuweah Creek Fire in Washington on July 14.Hide Caption 28 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestOperations Section Chief Bert Thayer examines a map of the Bootleg Fire in Chiloquin, Oregon, on July 13.Hide Caption 29 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFire consumes a home as the Sugar Fire, part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, tears through Doyle, California, on July 10. It’s the second time in less than a year that the small town has been ravaged by a wildfire.Hide Caption 30 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestMen hug a member of the Red Cross at a Bootleg Fire evacuation center in Klamath Falls, Oregon.Hide Caption 31 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestEmbers blow across a field as the Sugar Fire burns in Doyle, California, on July 9.Hide Caption 32 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestFirefighters monitor the Sugar Fire in Doyle, California, on July 9.Hide Caption 33 of 34 Photos: Wildfires raging in the WestIn this long-exposure photograph, taken early on July 2, flames surround a drought-stricken Shasta Lake during the Salt Fire in Lakehead, California.Hide Caption 34 of 34Wildfires devastate homes and swaths landSo far this year, wildfires in the US have burned more than three million acres — that’s the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined and then some. And the impact on communities has been devastating. The Bootleg Fire has destroyed more than 400 structures and 340 vehicles so far, according to a statement on InciWeb.Meanwhile, California’s largest wildfire — the Dixie Fire — is threatening more than 10,721 structures, according to InciWeb. It has already destroyed 60 structures.The fire, which has burned 220,012 acres in northern California, was 23% contained as of late Wednesday, according to InciWeb. Oregon's Bootleg Fire has devoured 400 buildings, 342 vehiclesFlames from the Dixie Fire overcame much of the town of Indian Falls, which sits along CA-89 in California’s Plumas National Forest, northwest of Reno, Nevada.An estimated 18 of 25 full time homes in Indian Falls were lost in the fire, Sheriff Todd Johns told CNN in an email.And the Tamarack Fire, which straddles the California-Nevada border, has destroyed or damaged nearly 30 structures, including homes, according to Mike DeFries, an information officer with the incident management team. As the fire’s containment inches toward 60%, evacuation orders have been lifted for residents in the area. Much of the area where the fire remains uncontained is in very steep, tough-to-access areas, which are often too dangerous for ground crews to reach, DeFries said. Congressional leaders talk climate change as fires rageDemocratic Congressional leaders are once again sounding the alarm on climate change and promising to enact “bold” climate policy that would aim to counter the increased frequency of heatwaves, drought, and extreme weather, which scientists have linked to human-induced climate change. “We are surrounded by evidence of the climate crisis — the fires out West, the heat waves, the floods,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday at a news conference. “Everywhere you look, because of global warming, things are getting worse and worse.” Extreme weather is upending lives in the West. 'You walk around with this vague sense of terror.'Schumer added that the raging wildfires might be signaling even worse situations in the future. “If we do nothing on climate, starting within a few short years from now, each year will be worse than Covid and each year will be worse than the previous year. We know that we can’t let this moment pass us by.”Schumer framed the moment as one of opportunity to enact strong climate legislation to reduce emissions by 50 percent in 2030. Schumer said one of his top priorities for a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill was a Civilian Climate Corps, which is meant to employ thousands of Americans in building climate resiliency, reforestation, and other climate-related projects. His remarks come as the Senate is negotiating a bipartisan infrastructure bill. Some House Democrats are growing frustrated with the slow pace of the Senate’s negotiations, given the extreme weather and drought in the West. “We just do not have time to waste,” Rep. Kathy Castor, the chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, told CNN. “You can kind of sense my frustration with the legislative process, and I think I reflect the frustration of millions of Americans who understand that clean energy is less expensive and it is the pathway forward for tackling climate change. We’ve got to meet our scientific imperative to cut carbon pollution dramatically.”
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