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Interior Secretary: California Wildfire Emissions Equal Year Of Power Pollution

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says wildfires in California in 2018 released roughly the same amount of carbon emissions as were produced in a year to provide electricity to the state. Zinke, citing figures from the U.S. Geological Survey, said Friday that the fires released roughly the equivalent of about 68 million tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. That’s more than 15 percent of all emissions produced by California in a year. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the figure is strikingly high and likely a record for carbon emissions from wildfires in California history. This year included California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire – a blaze earlier this month that took out the town of Paradise and killed at least 88 people.