California Gov. Jerry Brown Outlines Challenges In Fight Against Wildfires
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Earlier today, I spoke with California Governor Jerry Brown as he prepares to leave office. And part of our conversation touched on the record-breaking fires in the state. At the same time the Wolsey Fire swept through the hills above Malibu, the Camp Fire in Northern California killed 85 people. I asked Governor Brown what he thinks needs to be done now.
JERRY BROWN: The fires are going to get worse. They're not going to get better. It's very simple. Drought over time takes out the humidity, and with no moisture, what is nice vegetation and pretty trees becomes kindling wood, and it just explodes. So what we can do is manage the forest better. We're not going to do that overnight. We have millions of millions of acres. That's not going to happen. We have massive grass in Southern California. You've got to deal with that.
The wild lands there that are very great to hike in but as the summer heat intensifies, and then we get into the fall, the Santa Ana winds is very dangerous. So, look; the disaster plan has to increase. The management of our lands, that has to intensify. And that's going to cost, you know, if not hundreds of millions, probably billions. So - and then each person has to take responsibility and learn where they are and what they can do to reduce the vegetation, find an escape route.
We're in a new abnormal, and I'm not going to give you a nice little everything's fine; just do A, B and C, and you'll be safe. No, we're in great danger, and the danger will intensify. And I'm sure that politicians will respond but probably too slowly.
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