Yahoo Finance's Melody Hahm breaks down the latest developments on California's blazing wildfires.
JULIE HYMAN: Melody, you are continuing to watch the situation with wildfires out west. As you mention in our conversation with Sanjay, there's a well-known restaurant there that was destroyed by one of the fires.
- Yeah. And, I mean, what should not have been up for debate is that climate change is a real phenomenon, right? Speaking to the debate that happened last night. Unfortunately, there are two new fires that have been ravaging northern California that started on Monday, one of them called the glass fire and, to your point, burned down in three Michelin Star restaurant, the restaurant Meadow Wood. And the restaurateur did post on Instagram this morning saying that they need to give a eulogy. Because they have no idea if they will be able to rebuild.
I just want to give you guys a quick update on the amount of devastation that these fires this year have caused so far. So 3.6 million acres and counting in the state of California alone. There have been 7,982 fire incidents this year, 7,630 structures that have been damaged or destroyed, and at least 25 fatalities. That's as of yesterday.
Of course, this number is constantly growing and changing as, it may surprise people, September and October are actually the peak season when it comes to wildfires, even though the state didn't see plenty over the summer months, especially because of brush fires this year. And then just speaking to what Trump had said, saying that temperatures are actually cooling, he would love clean air, all of this has to be blamed on local government officials and forest management, that's just blatantly untrue, right?
Unfortunately, yes, there is an element of forest management. But how are you supposed to manage 3.6 million acres with the given resources, which, many of them come from the federal government? And Trump has repeatedly threatened actually taking some of those away. So this ongoing conversation and this lack of accountability is really unfortunate. And it did come to light even in last night's debate.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Melody, the California lawmakers, since the majority of these lands seem to be federally managed forest, did anybody in the previous months raise an alarm bell, hey, federal government, get on top of this before we have fires?
- Yeah, and I mean, Governor Gavin Newsom has-- that's been his main talking point over the last couple of years, especially because the state is still devastated, and ravaged, and sort of experiencing PTSD from 2017, which, at the time, had been a remarkably bad year. And then 2018 hit. So unfortunately, this is not a new narrative. And to your point, Adam, this is very much a known environmental situation. This is not a black-swan event like the coronavirus pandemic can be kind of titled as.
So, yes, they've been sounding the alarm. Unfortunately, even with the existing kind of fleet of firefighters, there just was not enough support for this to be implemented effectively. I don't anticipate that there will be a huge influx of resources, even if fighting does become president, right, in November. But at this point, we have seen a lot of mobility and transitions from even people, when moved to Oregon and Washington out of California to avoid the fires, now, they're looking for a second place to move as they are experiencing not only the fires, but the bad air quality and all of the unfortunate residual effects, as well.