"The fuel loads are up. The density of our forests is historical. We have dead and dying timber," Zinke said at a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
"I served in Iraq, and the devastation in the California fires is the worst I've ever seen," said Mr. Zinke. "The speed, the intensity, the amount of fuel. And the debate, whether it's from climate change or not from climate, is irrelevant to what's occurred. It doesn't relieve you of responsibility to manage the forest."