John McCain’s Puzzled by Controversy Over Wildfire Comments

Looks like the former presidential candidate is backtracking from his latest outrageous claims that undocumented immigrants are to blame for Arizona's blazes.

By Jorge Rivas Jun 21, 2011

Arizona Senator John McCain says he’s puzzled that there’s a controversy surrounding his comments blaming undocumented immigrants for some of fires in Arizona.

In a press conference Saturday McCain said, "there is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally." But the following day the U.S. Forest Service told ABC News that there is "absolutely" no evidence to support McCain’s claims with regards to the Wallow Fire.

On Tuesday, in an interview with NBC’s Today Show, McCain defended his statements by saying he wasn’t actually referring to the current Wallow fire.

"I was not referring to the Wallow fire," he emphasized. He then went on to explain his comments were just common sense.

"And we all know that people who come across our border illegally – according to the fire service, according to the border patrol, according to the local sheriffs and law enforcement agents – that these fires are sometimes, some of them have been caused by [illegal immigrants]," McCain continued.


Firefighters are currently battling wildfires that have burned a combined 732,427 acres across Arizona.