Editorial Board, Washington Post, August 8 2018
CALIFORNIA, THE nation’s most populous state and the world’s fifth-largest economy , is on fire. In a state already known for monster conflagrations, the past month has been unusually destructive. The Mendocino Complex fire north of San Francisco is now officially the largest in California’s history, having burned an area about the size of Los Angeles, and it is just one of the major blazes the state has had to face since last October.
President Trump tried to lay the blame on “bad environmental laws” and wasted water, claims that experts quickly debunked. The 14,000 firefighters on the ground do not lack for water; they are battling blazes next to big lakes and other major bodies of water. The state’s big rivers have not been “diverted into the Pacific,” as Mr. Trump claimed; they flow into the ocean as they always have, though with large amounts sent to cities and farmland for human use.