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President Joe Biden to visit Boise, talk fire response and climate change on Monday

Biden  (Susan Walsh)
Biden (Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden will travel Monday to Boise, Idaho, where he will tour the National Interagency Fire Center, the command hub for the country’s wildland firefighting response.

The visit will be part of a West Coast trip that will take the president to Colorado and California, the latter of which will include a support rally for Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom faces a recall election Tuesday.

It’s the first West Coast swing of the Biden presidency. He’s scheduled to arrive before noon local time and leave before 2 p.m.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday the president’s comments in Idaho will address wildfires and “the threat of extreme weather,” because it “is something that has impacted about 100 million Americans in the last couple of months.”

The center said Sunday in its situational report that crews were battling 60 uncontained large fires in the United States. Those blazes include the Summit Trail Fire, which has burned nearly 50,000 acres on the Colville Reservation west of Inchelium after starting July 12. The Twentyfive Mile fire, burning north of Chelan, has swallowed 21,130 acres since sparking Aug. 15. The Muckamuck fire near Conconully has burned more than 13,000 acres since starting Aug. 4.

The federal center reports a total of more than 44,000 fires this year that have burned 5.5 million acres.

Biden met virtually with Western governors earlier this summer, including Gov. Jay Inslee, touting the necessity of passing a $1 trillion infrastructure package to address wildfire preparedness.

“And – you know, and overlaying all of this is the necessity to successfully confront climate change,” Biden said at the time.

Congress has since passed that infrastructure legislation. An additional $3.5 trillion budget bill hit a snag Sunday when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said he wouldn’t be voting for the bill unless its price tag was trimmed.

The president is also scheduled to tour wildfire damage in Sacramento as part of his trip.

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