Inslee visits Jolly Mountain Fire commanders, ties wildfires to global warming

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CLE ELUM- Governor Jay Inslee was in Cle Elum yesterday for a tour of the Jolly Mountain Fire. The fire has burned over 23,000 acres of timber land and continues to threaten homes in Kittitas County.

The Governor held a news conference following his visit with Fire commanders. He maintains that the current rash of wildfires around the Northwest are tied to global warming.

“We ought to have the President come out here, who has denied climate change, and smell this smoke and see this ash, and see what it’s doing to our forest and our state,” Inslee said during the conference. “We have to fight this. I think it’s time to start fighting climate change so it doesn’t destroy our forests in the long term.”

Inslee said it is time to come to ‘grips with this real problem.’

“The real problem is drought, heat and climate change is setting the stage to destroy the forests of the state of Washington, and I’m not taking it laying down,” Inslee said. “I declared a State of Emergency today to fight these fires short-term, but we gotta have a strategy to fight them long-term so that these forests don’t go up in smoke–we’ve had it with ash in Seattle or anywhere else.”

While in Cle Elum the Governor was also updated on other fires currently burning in Washington State.