United States President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed concerns related to climate change and insinuated that it had no link with wildfires ravaging forests across the western part of the country. Trump made the remarks during a briefing after he reached Sacramento in central California.

At least 27 people have died and dozens more are missing in the United States after the fires began in recent weeks, destroying forests, fields and homes. By Monday afternoon, a haze of smoke spread across most part of the country and could be seen over New York and Washington D.C, according to The New York Times. Around 5 lakh people have been evacuated from the US state of Oregon, which is about an eighth of the state’s population

“It’ll start getting cooler...you just watch,” the American president told secretary of California’s Natural Resources Agency Wade Crowfoot. To this Crowfoot replied saying: “I wish science agreed with you.” Following this, Trump said: “Well, I don’t think science knows, actually.”

After arriving in California, Trump reiterated his contention that the wildfires occur due to poor maintenance of forest areas, making them more prone to fires. “There has to be strong forest management,” he said, according to AFP. “With regard to the forests, when trees fall down after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry. They become really like a match stick. They just explode.”

On Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called Trump a “climate arsonist” and added that his reelection would be catastrophic for the environment. “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?” he said.

His running mate and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who will inspect the destruction caused due to the wildfires, said that Trump had denied evidence that the fires were “intensified by the climate crisis”.