California Gov. Jerry Brown is linking the recent wildfires that blazed through San Diego County to global warming, saying on Sunday that the state is on the "front lines" of climate change, which is making its weather hotter.
Almost a dozen fires caused more than $20 million in damage last week, and Brown said the drought-stricken state is preparing for its worst wildfire season ever.
"We're going to deal with nature as best we can, but humanity is on a collision course with nature," Brown said on ABC.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to more than 1,500 fires this year, compared with about 800 in an average year, and the state firefighting agency went to peak staffing in the first week of April instead of its usual start in mid-May.
On CNN, Brown said that the state’s fire season is now two months longer than it was a decade ago and that fire crews are active all year long instead of seasonally.
"We're getting ready for the worst," Brown said on ABC.
The state has 5,000 firefighters and has appropriated $600 million to battle blazes, but that may not be enough.
"In the years to come, we're going to have to make very expensive investments and adjust,” he said on ABC's "This Week." "And the people are going to have to be careful of how they live, how they build their homes and what kind of vegetation is allowed to grow around them."
"In California, we're not only adapting, but we're taking steps to reduce our greenhouse gases in a way that I think exceeds any other state in the country,” he said. “And we'll do more. … In the meantime, all we can do is fight all these damn fires."
Brown's appearances coincided with state fire officials saying the San Marcos fire was 85 percent contained as of Sunday morning. Only four fires are still burning, including three at Camp Pendleton.
Firefighters have been helped by the weekend's cooler temperatures and calmer winds.
All fire evacuation orders have been lifted as firefighters gain the upper hand on the remaining fires of nearly a dozen blazes in San Diego County.
County officials said Sunday all road closures were also lifted.
In San Marcos, a suburb of 85,000 people where strip malls and new housing tracts mix with older homes, slowly returned to normal over the weekend as more roadblocks were removed.
"It's such a wonderful blessing to be back," Jamie Williams said as he unloaded three bags of clothing from his car that he took when ordered to evacuate Wednesday night. "It was almost a teary-eyed kind of thing."