Gov. Inslee blames climate change for fires


SEATTLE — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the fires devastating California and the Northwest shouldn’t be called wildfires, but “climate fires.”

At a news conference Friday, the Democrat noted that the roughly 980 square miles burned in Washington in just the last five days amounts to the state’s second worst fire season on record, after 2015.

“This is not an act of God,” Inslee said. “This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways.”

Inslee ran for the Democratic presidential nomination on a climate platform and said it’s important to fight the fires not just on the ground, but by creating clean-energy jobs and taking other measures to combat climate change.

Scientists have long said that human-caused climate change would result in hotter temperatures and more extreme weather events, such as droughts, that can increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires.