Importance of Natural Resources

California wildfires: why are there so many and is climate change to blame?


Wildfire smoke smells different. You know it’s not your
neighbour’s barbecue or a bonfire,
you know what this means. You know you have to go. The fire quickly spread up the slope,
jumped the crest and began threatening homes. You’re going to have to cut to the left.
– Open the gate. Open the gate. California doesn’t really have
a wildfire season anymore, just because climate change
has made conditions so extreme. But typically wildfire season
is the fall. What makes the fall really terrible
for these wildfires is these really fast winds
that are also really dry. So we’re talking about relative humidities
that are in the single digits. Just bone dry air outside. Look at all these hot spots
and smoke. They are everywhere and with wind
conditions like this, all it takes is one big gust for that
to go south in a hurry. At the same time, those winds
are pushing the fire and they don’t push the fire
just in a line across the land, they push embers from the fire
up and out, over the borders of the fire into totally different
areas, into neighbourhoods and homes and then those
start little fires that then just expand those fires even
more quickly. So you’ve got all of these borders
expanding at the same time and that’s exactly the kind of behaviour
that we’ve seen in fires over recent years. You wake up one day
and it’s gone. It gets ripped out of your hands
and out of your life forever. I mean, it’s never going to come back. So, human-caused climate change
is pushing these fires further and faster in hotter,
drier climates. Managing all the forests
in every way we can does not stop climate change. You know, we’re seeing roughly
the same number of fires that we always did but now they’re
consuming much larger areas. So many more acres and square miles
are burned across the state. Far more than a few decades ago. The fire was contained
in the early afternoon but not before 36 homes
were levelled to smoking ruins. Fire in California was, for a long time,
really kind of a southern California problem and because of climate change,
it’s really moved further and further north. As the wildfire threat grows
in northern California as well … Now we’re talking about fires
across the entire state and also now into Oregon
and even into Washington. This is just a problem that’s
moving with the climate. Heavenly father, please help us. Please help us to be safe. A somewhat unique problem
that’s arisen over the last few years is that our investor-owned
utility companies are sparking a lot of these fires. Those companies are now facing
huge liabilities because they’re burning down whole communities
across the state. To try to stop the power lines
from starting these fires, power companies have actually
just been shutting off the grid. And it’s had, in many cases,
even more devastating impacts on people’s everyday lives
than the fires themselves. I mainly travel around on an
electric wheelchair and so I was stuck up here, basically,
because the elevators shut down and don’t work in a situation like this
when there’s no power. California has really evolved very quickly
in response to these wildfire threats. We saw absolutely devastating fire seasons
in 2017 and 2018, dozens of people killed
in these very fast-moving and spotting wildfires
across communities, and in 2019 the state has really
reacted quite differently. Every time the wind blows
we get it right down in our face and we can’t see anything. Firefighters aren’t just responding
to fires that are already burning, they’re proactively going through
communities and looking for fires. When winds are up they’re staging,
already prepared for something to happen. And we’ve seen the results of that,
which is we haven’t had the same kinds of fires that we did
in past years. That’s really extraordinary
and marks a huge shift in how the state government is thinking
about what it’s going to do in a fiery, climate-changed future.


Reader Comments

  1. Lack of care is to blame. There's more modern methods but the basically just need to burn it out around the homes so it can't spread to where people live

  2. A lot of people on you tube are woke and know the truth. Until you media people wake up or stop lying, you don’t and won’t have any credibility.

  3. Is global warming to blame for fire in a semi arid region that has experienced rampant wildfires for the last 7,000 years?
    Survey says no.

  4. I noticed that just before the fires broke out there was a lot of static electricity in the air. My hair was standing out like it was full of electricity. Maybe that's what starts these fires, the electricity in the air.

  5. No im sure its trumps fault somehow.. oh wait its because cali isnt woke enough 👐🏼🏳️‍🌈💵🏳️‍🌈🏳️🏳️

  6. Change will come either through public mobilization or environmental pressure, with the former having the potential of holding those most responsible for the Climate Crisis accountable while the latter guarantees the rest of us will pay the consequences. These wildfires are just another symptom of humanity's impotence to deal with global threats.

  7. Here's a strange idea: California is next to a small body of water. To its West is a little thing called an OCEAN. If we can build a pipeline from Alaska to the main 48 States … why can't California build pumping stations to the forest areas for fire suppression. Any water used will eventually find its way back to the ocean. <<< If someone starts up with "but it's salt water" … then you need to read up on this thing called desalination >>>

  8. Climate change?
    There has been wild fires in that area for centuries. Poor management of the area is to blame.

  9. Wild fires are a natural event. Some years are worse than others. Try designing fire breaks into your town planning and stop building your houses and roofs out of wood.
    I do feel sorry for all the people who've suffered though.

  10. I'll never understand anybody with a nose ring. Just please explain what in the forest fire hell would possess anyone to do that to their self. Hideous is all I can say. I didn't hear anything that wannabe cow said. Even worse, I couldn't tell if "she" wanted to be a man or a woman? Yikes Any news on how to change your voice into a specific sex? Big market waiting out there obviously…

  11. Stop ✋ Lying To These Beautiful People !!!

    Those So Called ( Wildfires ) !

    Are ( Biblical ) !!!

    Open Your Eyes 👀 PEOPLE !!!

    Do not listen to this nonsense !

  12. so please dot build with wood please try any other material to build your houses it cant stop but takes time to catch fire atleast we have time to prevent it

  13. So convenient for politicians shift blame to climate change when all that happened was we went back to the amount of fires when environmental policies prevented clearing the butn and do proper management.

  14. I read somewhere that years ago because of the dry climate California started planting Australian eucalyptus trees everywhere because they grow in arid conditions. The downside is that they burn with the heat from hell. Could this be true as they have a lot of fires in Australia too.

  15. Fire is diabolical matter. The fire in a smoking cigarette sometimes brings imaginary satisfaction to individuals. But fire is all one dangerous devil invention.

  16. Overpopulation, homeless living rough in the wilderness designated areas and lack of precipitation (due to climate, not climate change).

  17. Has the climate crisis made California too dangerous to live in? ► https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/29/has-the-climate-crisis-made-california-too-dangerous-to-live-in

  18. NO climate change here!! this is PG&E fault 3rd bankruptcy 😬 as well as the Demonrats😈💀 who run CA!! Nice try though 😅😂

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