A Republican member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology called global warming a “total fraud” during his portion of a town hall meeting last week.

 Dana Rohrabacher of California said: “Just so you’ll know, global warming is a total fraud and it’s being designed because what you’ve got is you’ve got liberals who get elected at the local level want state government to do the work and let them make the decisions. Then, at the state level, they want the federal government to do it. And at the federal government, they want to create global government to control all of our lives,” to a crowd who laughed and seemed to agree with his claims.

Rohrabacher has previously claimed that clear-cutting rainforests could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Rohrabacher’s comments come at a time when his state is being ravaged by wildfires that have destroyed dozens of homes and forced 1,800 people to evacuate.

California’s 2013 wildfire season is expected to be more devastating than recent years, in part because of climate change. The Associated Press reports that California has battled 4,300 wildfires so far this year – a large increase from the 3,000 yearly average they have faced for the last four years.

A 258-page report recently released by the California Environmental Protection Agency encourages state and local government to plan ahead and adapt to a hotter future. The report states that annual average temperatures across California have increased by 1.5 degrees since 1895, and that more heat waves, wildfires, and higher sea levels are to be expected.

California’s wildfire season is expected to get even worse with the arrival of the Santa Ana Winds in a few weeks. The winds typically fuel and cause the wildfires to spread more rapidly.

Jesse Farthing is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.