Inslee visits tiny Malden, devastated by wildfire

VIDEO: Inslee visits tiny Malden, devastated by wildfire

Gov. Jay Inslee visited the small eastern Washington town of Malden on Thursday that was nearly wiped out by fires.

Malden’s mayor says of 130 homes, only 27 remain.

Inslee said he is freeing up several hundred thousand dollars in cash assistance for families affected by fires.

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The money will be provided through DSHS' Family Emergency Assistance Program.

Inslee also said state officials are assessing the damage to see if Washington can qualify for federal assistance.

Inslee also talked about the need to combat climate change, which is making wildfires worse.

“We are living in a new Washington. We’re living in a Washington with explosive fire seasons,” Inslee said. “We talk about this as a wildfire. I think we need to start thinking about this as a climate fire because that’s what makes them so explosive.”

Across the state, an estimated half a million acres have burned this year in a relatively short period of time.

As fire seasons go, only 2015 was worse.