Cause of the wildfires out west?

So, the general consensus is, the fires are happening because of climate change?

The various fire services generally want 50 to 100 feet of nearly bare dirt around each structure. Homeowners want trees right up alongside the house. Guess which side is being smart and which side is playing with fire?

As one California rural county example:

That appears to be the sole mention of proud boys. I actually heard a person in a store say out loud that the fires were being set by antifa, and numerous other outlets seem to mention antifa (typically in a debunking effort). The RW BS machine is far stronger than anything that the left does.

When you say loggers used to harvest the oldest, most burnable trees I assume you mean they harvested the largest trees for lumber and that large trees spread fire more efficiently. I don’t think that’s true. Trunks don’t catch nearly as well as branches do. If the fire stays out of the crown, large enough trees can survive fires that pass through.

No, the general consensus is that climate change is making an already bad situation much worse. It’s a combination of factors, but more compressed rainy seasons and higher average temps are definitely impacting the situation in California. Fire season is starting earlier, lasting longer and dryer/more fuels are helping to spark them more easily and make them both larger and more intense.

Also, as noted in the MPSIMS thread, climate change is contributing to fires where there normally aren’t any.

This was very informative. Thank you!

No, there are far worse due to climate change. Climate change alone doesnt start a fire. But it can- and has -taken lightning strikes that might not start a large fire and turn them into thousands of acres.

Quick, easy answers to complex problems are always wrong. Always. The fires in CA at least cover a vast swath of diverse landscapes: the one near Santa Cruz involves coastal redwoods that are usually dampened by fog during the summer, east of San Jose mainly grass and oak woodlands that are always dry this time of year, the one near Oroville dense conifer forest and canyons, and in Mendocino mixed forest and oak-studded grasslands (and pot farms). The combo drought, then massive heat wave, then freak dry lightening storm, then strong, dry, winds from the east, all within a few days, created the perfect once in a generation conflagration in all these environments. The main question: what changed recently?

I think we also have to agree that vegetation management is an emerging field that needs to advance a lot before we have practical solutions. Additionally, land-use policy should take all this into account and be restrictive about people building structures farther out in the woods.

The other problem is that in order to maintain forests near cities and towns there will need to be cutting and burning year-round - most people living in these areas wont take too kindly to having their clean air smoked up all the time.

But when Trump met California officials this week for a briefing on the wildfires, CalFire director Thomas Porter showed him a map of California’s fires, most of which were located on territory the map colored green. All of the green," Porter told him, "is federal lands.”

As residents of the region know well, huge swaths of the American West are federally owned. Nearly 60 percent of the forests in California, 25 percent of the forests in Oregon, and 44 percent in Washington are national forests. For the most part, the forests burning across the West—the fires the president blames on state officials—are on federal lands.Forest fire management is a complex issue, but one thing is clear: the federal commitment to it has been declining for years, and Trump has done little to reverse it. The federal government’s spending on fire prevention has been shrinking; the budget for vegetation management fell from approximately $240 million in 2001 to $180 million in 2015, a decline of 24 percent.

So trump is blaming CA for something he caused and could prevent.

And it’s also something the California authorities cannot legally do anything about without his request to assist the federal government.

Well, they do have some forest and they could do a better job in those, sure.

Actually that’s false-ish.

The 24% decline figure doesn’t consider the effects of inflation. Forest management is mostly about labor costs, and we can approximate that with the CPI. The $240M in 2001 would require a budget of $320M in 2015 to have the same buying power. 180/320 is only 56% as much money. So there’s actually been a 44% reduction in buying power, not just 24%. That’s how big a cut has happened. Admittedly only 3+ years of it under Trump; this has festering for decades.

Against a demand that’s more or less proportional to the perimeter of the inhabited zones and the amount of heat/drought occurring. Both of which have been continuously increasing over the timeframe we’re discussing. I don’t have a good way to quantify those things, but we can say a 46% cut is a soft lower bound on the actual reduction is supply of money versus demand for the services that money should be buying.