While not a full-bore media hype yet, there are the beginnings of chatter on blogs and Twitter that the Colby fire in Southern California might somehow be related to “climate change”. NASA MODIS has this image and explanation:
Colby Fire Near Los Angeles, California
A wildfire started and spread quickly in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles on January 16, 2014. The plume of ash and smoke blanketed much of the metropolitan area and prompted air quality warnings.
According to InciWeb, the fire started around 6 a.m. Pacific Time on January 16 in Angeles National Forest near Glendora, California. As of 3 p.m. local time, nearly 500 firefighters were working the fire, which had destroyed 1,700 acres and at least two homes. Fire officials were concerned about gusty winds and extremely low humidity that could promote fire growth.
- InciWeb: Incident Information System (2014, January 16) Colby Fire. Accessed January 16, 2014.
- Los Angeles Times (2014, January 26) Colby fire: Plume of smike, ask prompts air quality advisories. Accessed January 16, 2014.
- Los Angeles Times (2014, January 26) Wildfire near L.A.: Firefights brace for wind gusts, heat. Accessed January 16, 2014.
NASA image by Holli Riebeek and courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.
So before we get into the blame game of climate change, it might be worth noting that it appears the fires were started by some pothead campers.
Three men arrested in accidentally setting the highly-dangerous Colby Fire plaguing Southern California were found with pot in their backpacks, according to local reports. They are being held on $500,000 bail, according to police Sergeant Michael Hammond at the Glendora Police Department. According to Police Chief Tim Staab, the three men did not set the fire purposefully: “It wasn’t an arson. They are charged with a crime but part of it is criminal stupidity.”