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Obama attributes Western wildfires to droughts caused by climate change

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, left, greets President Barack Obama as he arrives in Seattle Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at the start of a three-day West Coast trip that is planned to include at least five fundraising events in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (AP Photo)

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, left, greets President Barack Obama as he arrives in Seattle Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at the start of a three-day West Coast trip that is planned to include at least five fundraising events in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (AP Photo)

SEATTLE - President Barack Obama says a wildfire that has burned nearly 400 square miles in the north-central part of Washington state, along with blazes in other Western areas, can be attributed to climate change.

Obama, speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday, offered federal help to deal with Washington's wildfire, the largest in the state's history.

He said Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate had authorized an emergency declaration to ensure electrical power.

Obama has asked Congress for $615 million in emergency spending to fight Western wildfires. He said spending on such fires has increased over the years.

He says, "A lot of it has to do with drought, a lot of it has to do with changing precipitation patterns and a lot of that has to do with climate change."

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