Big surprise–WtD has a post on the California wildfires. It features an article from the Los Angeles Time. Very scientific….
Why the fires? Something about sea surface warming, glaciers melting. and lakes warming. It was not at all clear how these have any effect on fires since all three involve water, the enemy of fire.
For those who missed the explanation for why fires are a problem in California and elsewhere:
1. The earth has a large amount of flammable material that can be ignited by both nature and humans (a subset of nature)
2. Humans tend to live in flammable housing.
3. They tend to put their flammable housing in flammable trees and brush.
4. Flammable housing in flammable trees often results in loss of homes when a fire occurs.
5. Failure to remove the flammable material around the flammable houses, also known as defensible space
6. Increase in the number of humans living in the flammable structures in an area (can result in more accidental fires and increases fire losses)
7. Increases in recreational activities that can produce accidental fires.
8. Arson–for the thrill or for money
All of these can be readily verified without adjustments, statistical analysis or models.
Hot weather, low humidity and wind increase the intensity of fires, but if the basic reasons for fire were addressed, the weather would not be such an issue. Until we admit that building flammable structures in flammable areas will cause losses when a fire does occur and until we admit humans are very bad about following the rules concerning fire safety and defensible space, no amount of the weather cooling will make a significant impact, short of a new ice age.