by Chris Martz, Oct 30, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Articles, like the one from Politico above (Figure 1)¹, have been popping up left and right claiming that climate change is causing the wildfires.
Endless amounts of disinformation are being spread around on Twitter and Facebook from well-known media outlets, public figures, government officials, and even a handful of well-known scientists.
There’s no doubt that the dozen or more wildfires that have broken out in the state, including the Getty and Kincade fires, are serious.
Firefighters are doing their best to try and contain these fires before any more serious damage occurs. But, playing the blame game on climate change does nothing for public safety whatsoever.
What’s really to blame for these fires?
The Kincade Fire, in particular, was caused by a broken jumper wire of the Pacific Gas & Electric company(PG&E), though “mother nature,” as you will find out below, has enhanced the fire and others that have since broken out across the state.
October through March is the prime time of the year for wildfires to break out in the Western United States (Raphael, 2003).²
This is largely because atmospheric and surface conditions tend to be very favorable in the region for fire weather; that is a.) dry soil and vegetation, b.) low relative humidity, c.) warm temperatures, and d.) strong winds.³