Jerry Brown addressing journalists on Monday.
CAL FIRE
Jerry Brown tells journalists what’s what on Monday.

California’s governor was quick to blame climate change for the early-season wildfires that are already wreaking havoc in his state.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has been an advocate for climate action and a fiery critic of climate deniers. On Monday, he visited the state fire department’s aviation management unit as firefighters battled the remains of what a couple days earlier had been a raging blaze in the Santa Monica Mountains. While he was there, he shared some choice words with reporters about the causes and consequences of a fire season that’s shaping up to be a big one. From the Los Angeles Times:

“Our climate is changing, the weather is becoming more intense,” Brown said in an airplane hangar filled with trucks, airplanes and helicopters used by the state to fight fires. “It’s going to cost a lot of money and a lot of lives.

“The big issue (is) how do we adapt,” Brown said, “because it doesn’t look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we are going to have to adapt. And adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”

With the snowpack in the Sierra mountains at just 17% of normal, state officials are bracing for a long, destructive fire season. State Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, who joined Brown at Monday’s press conference, said he was preparing for “a deadly year.”