Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Is there a political angle to the wildfires raging through Southern California?

You betcha – at least according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said global warming is at least partly responsible for the blazes.

“One reason why we have the fires in California is global warming,” the Nevada Democrat told reporters, emphasizing the need to pass the Democrats’ comprehensive energy package.

Pressed by astonished reporters on whether he really believed global warming caused the fires, he appeared to back away from his comments, saying there are many factors that contributed to the disaster.

Meanwhile, President Bush has declared a state of emergency in California and sent Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator David Paulison to San Diego to assess the situation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would consider sending more aid to California.

“So far, [state officials] have been able to avail themselves of whatever is available from the federal government,” the Northern California Democrat said. “We may have to expand on that as the fires continue to rage.”

The California congressional delegation is reportedly drafting a resolution expressing Congress’ support for the first responders and pledging to make resources available to help stop the fires.

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