WATCH: CNN Airs Wild Live Coverage of California Fires Raging Outside Reagan Presidential Library
CNN correspondent Bill Weir broadcasted live from the Simi Valley, California wildfires on Wednesday, as he posted up outside the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library while fires raged around him and planes dropping countless gallons of water flew above.
The Easy Street fire broke out this morning in a Southern California area just north of Los Angeles and has already engulfed hundreds of acres. The wildfire’s quick growth was caused by the Santa Ana winds whipping through Ventura County.
“This is the Reagan Library. Right in there is Air Force One. This has been the site of presidential debates on CNN in the past,” Weir noted while standing next to the fireproof building. “Yet another symbolic setting for a grim new reality in California.”
A spokesperson for the Reagan Library said the building, which is located on top of a hill overlooking the valley and is the location of the burial sites for Ronald and Nancy Reagan , will be safe from the fires, per the Sacramento Bee.
“There goes a bomber right on queue. We’ve seen helicoptering coming through, super soakers dropping retardant trying to contain this,” Weir commentated as aerial firefighting maneuvers took place above him. “It’s raining down over here. That one just caught the edge of the roof here of the Reagan Library.”
“Here’s a startling fact that I just learned. In the history of California fire, they have never been able to contain — fully stop a fire being fed by Santa Ana wind. All they can do is wait for the weather to change and try to fortify human life and precious — like the Reagan Library,” he added.
In a second live segment from the area, the CNN Wonder List host explained that the fires are part of California’s “climate crisis” and noted “scientists don’t even know what California will look like in 2050 because they think so much of the state will have burned and they don’t know what will replace it. It’s impossible to model out what this place is going to look like in the middle of this century.”
Weir also said that the Simi Valley fire is “very different kind of fire than the ones they’re seeing up” in Northern California, which are exacerbated by timber, as opposed to the grassland in the southern parts of the state.
“In hindsight, Smokey the Bear lied to us. We can’t prevent forest fires,” Weir said. “This is a natural cycle of the ecosystem of California, but for generations humanity has tried to contain it. If you go for so long without a natural system, man, you get these big ones. They blow up fast.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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