Wildfire Conspiracy Theories Spread like, Well, Wildfire

September 23, 2020

I had a wide ranging interview with Daniel Swain of UCLA on the current wave of west coast wildfires, and other topics.
That video will be coming from Yale soon, but I wanted to dole out some of the choice insights in the meantime.
Meanwhile, more fiery weather on the way.

Washington Post:

Thousands of firefighters struggling to contain dozens of blazes from California to Washington need a break in the weather to help them get the upper hand. However, although temperatures have returned to near average after a blistering heat wave in mid-August and another record-shattering heat episode this month, the weather is poised to tip decidedly in the fires’ favor.

A large area of high pressure, or a heat dome, is projected to build across the West at the same time as a large dip, or trough, in the jet stream delivers cold air to the Midwest and East beginning this weekend and continuing into early October.

The bifurcated weather pattern, with a warm West and a cool East, will favor unusually hot conditions as well as little to no opportunities for badly needed rain in the hardest-hit areas such as Butte County, Calif., where 15 were killed in the North Complex Fire. That fire had burned 299,723 acres and was 74 percent contained as of Tuesday.

In California, another heat wave is the last thing that’s needed now. The extreme wildfire conditions originally yielded massive blazes during August’s record-breaking heat wave, which was followed by a dry lightning event. Then another record-breaking heat wave hit in early September, which was immediately followed by an unusual and widespread land-to-sea, or offshore, wind event along the entire West Coast.

One Response to “Wildfire Conspiracy Theories Spread like, Well, Wildfire”

  1. redskylite Says:

    “The authors of the review conclude that “climate change is bringing hotter, drier weather to the western US and the region is fundamentally more exposed to fire risks than it was before humans began to alter the global climate”.

    The researchers acknowledge that fire management practices in the US have also contributed to the build-up of fuel.

    Normally, fire authorities carry out controlled burnings in some areas to reduce the amount of fuel available when a wildfire strikes – but these have also suffered as a result of rising temperatures.”


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