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The Latest: Smoke visible from Air Force One in California

By The Associated Press
Posted 2:43PM on Monday 14th September 2020 ( 2 months ago )

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Smoke from the West Coast's massive wildfires was visible as Air Force One began its approach into Northern California.

President Donald Trump is expected to be briefed about the wildfires during a stop near Sacramento, California, on Monday. He will also recognize the work of the California National Guard, which has airlifted scores of stranded people to safety over the past week.

Trump has blamed poor forest management for the deadly fires, though many of the blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest.

When addressing reporters after exiting Air Force One, Trump was asked if climate change was also part of the problem, in combination with forest management.

He says, “I think a lot of things are possible.” But he says when it comes to forests, downed trees and dried leaves on the ground are “really a fuel for a fire, so they have to do something about it.”

The fires have killed at least 33, burned millions of acres and forced thousands from their homes on the West Coast.

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2:15 p.m.

Joe Biden says wildfires and hurricanes will become “more devastating” if President Donald Trump wins a second term because he isn't acting to address the climate crisis.

Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday, Biden said Trump's “climate denial may not have caused these fires and hurricanes.” But he says Trump's response had exacerbated it.

In his speech, the Democratic presidential nominee sought to emphasize that the effects of climate change have wide-reaching consequences. He pointed not just to wildfires in the West and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, but also to droughts affecting farmers in the Midwest and even climate-related threats to U.S. military installations around the world.

Biden says, "Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid red states or blue states. Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way. The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon. It’s science.”

Trump was in California on Monday meeting with fire officials after deadly fires along the West Coast. He has repeatedly discounted the impact of climate change, walked away from a major international climate agreement and proudly rolled back environmental regulations.

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9:35 a.m.

Joe Biden has voted in Delaware's primary, casting a ballot by appointment a day before the polls formally open.

The Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Jill, voted Monday morning at the New Castle Board of Elections. She wore boots with “VOTE” stenciled on each one.

Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech on climate change exacerbating the wildfires raging in California and other states later in the day from Wilmington, Delaware, where the couple lives.

Monday evening, the former vice president will address via internet the Poor People’s Campaign virtual event “Voting is Power Unleashed.”

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden depart after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Jill Biden wears boots bearing the word "Vote" on them as she and her husband, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, depart after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden departs after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden departs after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden departs after voting early in Delaware's state primary election at the New Castle County Board of Elections office in Wilmington, Del., Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The sun rises though smoke over charred foothills above Arcadia, Calif., Monday, September 14, 2020. The Bobcat fire continues to burn in the foothills of Los Angeles County churning out a heavy smoke causing very unhealthful air quality throughout most of the region. (David Crane/The Orange County Register via AP)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about climate change and wildfires affecting western states, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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