Trump's tweet on 6 August 2018 claiming that 'California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws'. Graphic: Twitter

By Grace Segers
16 August 2018

(CBS News) – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested that climate change may have a role in the recent wildfires that have ravaged California. When asked by CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang whether he accepted that climate change was part of the problem, Zinke said "of course." He also acknowledged that "temperatures are rising."

However, Zinke also reiterated an argument that he made earlier this week, blaming environmental groups for preventing dead trees from being cleared due to their opposition to the logging industry.

"The only endangered species happens to be a logger," Zinke said.

Earlier this week, Zinke blamed "environmental terrorist groups" for California's destructive wildfires in an interview with Breitbart Radio.

"We have been held hostage by these environmental terrorist groups that have not allowed public access -- that have refused to allow [the] harvest of timber," Zinke told Breitbart Monday.

On Sunday, Zinke said that the wildfires had "nothing to do with climate change" in an interview with local news station KCRA-TV. He suggested that environmental groups had prevented timber salvage operations, meaning that forests could not be cleared of flammable detritus.

"I've heard the climate change argument back and forth. This has nothing to do with climate change. This has to do with active forest management," Zinke said. [more]

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledges role of climate change in wildfires

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