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FEATURING GEETA PERSAD – A firefighter in California has died while battling the record breaking Mendocino Complex Fire – the largest ever fire in recorded history in the state. Six firefighters have now died in the battle against California’s fires. The Mendocino Complex Fire has destroyed hundreds of homes and continues to threaten to engulf thousands more. It is expected to be contained by September 1st and this week’s slightly cooler weather is helping. Dozens more fires continue to burn elsewhere in the state.

Meanwhile Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Monday during a visit to California’s fire ravaged areas that climate change had nothing to do with the extreme heat driving fires. He told press, “America is better than letting these radical groups control the dialogue about climate change,” referring to environmental organizations that are warning about the deadly impacts of climate change. Zinke recommended active forest management as a means of curtailing fires but environmental groups see this as a giveaway to logging corporations.

Geeta Persad is a senior climate scientist with the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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