Western wildfires live updates: Washington governor pens letter to Trump following visit

Deadly wildfires continued ravaging portions of the western United States on Monday, stoked by gusty winds and dry conditions.

Although some weather relief appears to be en route in the coming days, millions of acres have already burned, particularly in California, Oregon and Washington. Homes and businesses have been engulfed, and injuries to both residents and first responders continue mounting.

Here are the latest updates:

Washington governor pens fiery open letter to Trump

Update 10:21 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: In an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee pleaded with the commander in chief to heed the expertise of climate scientists and acknowledge the havoc climate change is wreaking upon wildfire-prone areas, KIRO-TV reported.

“I implore you to recognize the science behind this destruction and stop your path of distortion and deception,” Inslee wrote in a Medium post only hours after Trump visited portions of the western United States on Monday that have been ravaged by wildfires since mid-August.

The letter also stated that credible research confirms the close connection between climate change and intensifying wildfires, and Trump’s “reckless statements that climate change is a hoax and your gutting of environmental policy benefit no one but fossil fuel companies,” KIRO-TV reported.

Read the complete letter here.

Nearly 2 dozen missing in Oregon

Update 7:54 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: Emergency management officials in Oregon have confirmed Monday night that nearly two dozen people remain unaccounted for as wildfires continue sweeping the state.

“As of today, there have been 22 individuals reported missing associated with these fires,” Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps told CNN.

“If you’re concerned for missing family, please report that concern to the local law enforcement entity,” he said, adding that anyone evacuating should consider registering with the American Red Cross so that officials and loved ones will know that they are safe.

USPS closes post offices in three states

Update 4:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: The U.S. Postal Service has temporarily closed some post offices in California, Washington and Oregon due to the combination of wildfires and high winds.

Trump speaks at California National Guard ceremony after wildfire briefing

Update 3:25 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: President Donald Trump is delivering remarks at a ceremony recognizing the California National Guard after attending a wildfire briefing earlier in the day with California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

California governor, Trump attend California wildfire briefing

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: President Donald Trump met with California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday for a wildfire briefing as flames continue to burn up hundreds of thousands of acres in the state.

LIVE | President Trump arrives in Sacramento County to meet with fire officials >> https://bit.ly/32vQ2y1

LIVE | President Trump arrives in Sacramento County to meet with fire officials >> https://bit.ly/32vQ2y1

Posted by KCRA 3 on Monday, September 14, 2020

Trump arrives in California ahead of wildfire briefing

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: President Donald Trump has arrived in California where he’s expected to attend a wildfire briefing.

Biden: Wildfires leaving Americans asking ‘Is doomsday here?’

Update 2 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: Speaking Monday as wildfires continue to burn through swathes of California, Oregon and Washington, Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden urged Americans to act on climate change.

“We have to act as a nation,” Biden said. “It shouldn’t be so bad that millions of Americans live in the shadow of an orange sky and are left asking, is doomsday here?”

Dozens of fires are burning in the western United States, claiming at least 35 lives. Officials in California have said that this year alone, more than 3 million acres have burned in the state.

Biden criticized President Donald Trump for politicizing the fires. Last month, Politico reported that Trump wanted to cut emergency funding to California as the state battled wildfires because it wasn’t part of his political base.

“Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid red states or blue states," Biden said Monday. "Wildfires don’t skip towns that vote 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.”

Joe Biden speaks about climate change, ongoing wildfires

Update 1:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is speaking Monday in Delaware about climate change and the ongoing wildfires on the West Coast.

Deputies investigate suspicious fires in Linn County, Oregon

Update 1:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 14: Officials in Linn County, Oregon, are investigating a series of suspicious fires that began early Monday, according to deputies.

Sheriff Jim Yon said in a news release that deputies were called to the first report of a suspicious fire around 2:40 a.m. Monday. Seven other small fires were subsequently reported, authorities said.

“All the fires occurred within a two-hour period,” deputies said. “These fires are still under investigation.”

Officials are searching for a small 1990s Nissan Hardbody pick-up truck that is either white or silver and has a black canopy. Authorities said the truck was seen in the area of one of the early-morning fires.

Anyone with information on the fires was asked to contact authorities at 541-812-2260.

Air quality remains unhealthy across most of Washington

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: Officials with the National Weather Service’s Seattle office said air quality remained unhealthy or hazardous across most of Washington on Monday due to ongoing wildfires in the state.

Officials said early Monday that an offshore system expected to bring showers to the region appeared to be weakening, offering “lesser chances for showers and lighter winds” and therefore “little smoke improvement.”

More than a dozen fires continue to burn from the Olympic National Forest in the west to the Umatilla National Forest in the southeast.

Biden to deliver speech on wildfires, climate change

Update 10:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to speak Monday about climate change and the ongoing wildfires on the West Coast, according to The Associated Press.

The former vice president will speak from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the AP reported.

“The science is clear, and deadly signs like these are unmistakable -- climate change poses an imminent, existential threat to our way of life,” Biden said in a statement released Saturday. “We absolutely must act now to avoid a future defined by an unending barrage of tragedies like the one American families are enduring across the West today.”

Trump to visit California as deadly wildfires continue

Update 6:48 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit California today as wildfires continue to blaze across the western United States.

According to The Associated Press, Trump plans to visit former air base McClellan Park near Sacramento. Gov. Gavin Newsom also plans to meet with the president, the news agency reported.

At least 35 people have died in the recent wildfires, according to the AP.

Read more here.

Oregon’s Holiday Farm Fire reaches over 161K acres, 6% containment

Published 1:21 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: Oregon’s Holiday Farm Fire, which has reached more than 161,000 acres, was 6% contained late Sunday, KEZI-TV reported.

Earlier Sunday, officials said the blaze, located in the Willamette National Forest, is threatening more than 23,000 structures in the region, according to the news outlet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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