- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2013

As wildfires rage across Southern California, Sen. Barbara Boxer offered a solution: Address climate change and such devastating fires won’t occur.

“Open your eyes, breathe the air and see what’s going on,” she said to climate-change deniers during a press conference Thursday.

She also lamented the limited number of firefighters available to help combat fires — a shortage she said is an effect of federal spending cuts.

Her statements followed an update of the latest damages from the moving fire from John Hawkins, chief of the Riverside County Fire Department.

The blaze has destroyed or threatened hundreds of homes and structures and ripped through a region of California located about 90 miles outside Los Angeles, the same area where a devastating fire killed five U.S. Forest Service officials in 2006.

Six air tankers, 13 helicopters, 1,000 firefighters and 84 engine companies have responded. Several communities have been evacuated and hundreds numbers of residents displaced, Mr. Hawkins said, according to NBC.

Five firefighters were hospitalized, while one civilian was badly injured after suffering burns from “head to toe,” Mr. Hawkins said.