California Governor Jerry Brown believes that the California wildfires sweeping across SoCal are due to man-made global warming. Except… there’s not really one source for these fires, right?
He stated: “With climate change, some scientists are saying that Southern California is literally burning up,” Brown said, according to CNN. “So we have to have the resources to combat the fires and we also have to invest in managing the vegetation and forests … in a place that’s getting hotter.” Calling it a new normal.
But the Thomas Fire, which is what it’s known as, can thank the dry climate of the area and the Santa Ana winds, aided by extremely low humidity, for the fire’s ongoing push through the state.
The Santa Ana winds are actually a common occurrence in Southern California between October and March. They can be pretty powerful, too. They’ve been known, at their worst, to knock over trees and power lines. The wind also helps cause vegetation in the area become dryer which of course makes it easier to burn. Gusts could reach 55 miles per hour, allowing fires to spread quickly among the dried out vegetation.
In fact, according to Time.com: “That’s what scientists say happened in Southern California in recent days as at least four serious fires spread in scattered locations across Ventura and Los Angeles counties, prompting thousands to evacuate and freeways like the 405 to partially close. The Santa Ana wildfire threat index, which measures the potential for the winds to spread fire, ranked the threat level at high or extreme on Thursday from just south of Santa Barbara to the Mexican border.”
The Thomas Fire has burned through 230,000 acres across the southwest making it the 5th largest wildfire in modern California history.
It also became so large and powerful that it could create it’s own weather; effectively making it a “firestorm”.
The Thomas fire has forced 88,000 people to flee their homes. Official estimates have put the cost of combating the fire at $25 million.
So yes nature is affecting this wildfire but it’s not the only one even happening right now.
In Bel Air, six homes were destroyed when another massive fire sprung up. The fire was caused at a nearby homeless encampment which sparked it and it grew and spread from there.