As fire crews struggled to gain containment on more than a dozen wildfires raging across California Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters that large, destructive fires would probably continue and cost the state billions of dollars over the next decade.
“The more serious predictions of warming and fires to occur later in the century, 2040 or 2050, they’re now occurring in real time,” Brown said at a news conference at the state’s emergency operations center outside Sacramento.
State officials said more than 13,000 firefighters are currently on duty, fighting 16 large fires that have burned a total of 320,000 acres and displaced more than 32,000 residents. Seventeen states have offered assistance to California during the last week, sending help from as far away as Maine and Florida. Though the state has the resources now to combat the large wildfires, fighting them and keeping people safe will become harder, Brown said.
“Things will get much tighter in the next five years as the business cycle turns negative and the fires continue,” Brown said.
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