California just had its worst wildfire season in modern history. The August Complex fire scorched more than 1 million acres last fall, making it the largest fire ever recorded in the state. More than 4 million acres burned in the Golden State in 2020, blanketing much of the region in an orange haze of ash and smoke for days on end.
As California burned, the wildfire crisis became engulfed in election-season politics. The issue was often portrayed in simple binary terms: Either forest management or climate change was to blame. President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized California for not doing enough to …
This article appears as “California Conflagrated” in the April 19, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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