The Southern California Colby wildfire and 'climate change'

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.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites captured this images of the Colby fire:

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.

References:

  1. InciWeb: Incident Information System (2014, January 16) Colby Fire. Accessed January 16, 2014.
  2. Los Angeles Times (2014, January 26) Colby fire: Plume of smike, ask prompts air quality advisories. Accessed January 16, 2014.
  3. 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.

Source: http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/colby-fire-near-los-angeles-california/

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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.”

http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/3-arrested-ca-fire-had-pot-backpacks

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tadchem

The fire was caused by a change in the *political* climate of increased tolerance of marijuana use.

phodges

Homeless folks campfire got out of control…
Three men accused of lighting a campfire that grew into the destructive Colby Fire were behind bars with bail amounts of $500,000 each late Thursday, officials said.
Clifford Eugene Henry, 22, of Glendora, Jonathan Carl Jarrell, 23, of Irwindale and Steven Robert Aguirre, 21, a transient whose last known address was in Los Angeles, were booked on suspicion of unlawfully causing a fire of a structure or forest land…
“It wasn’t an arson,” Staab said. “They are charged with a crime but part of it is criminal stupidity.”
The men had grown cold and placed more paper into a campfire when the fire grew out of control.

Steve Keohane

Glad you had the part about the campers, I just heard it on the news. I hope no one is injured by this stupidity.

M Seward

Blaming AGW is all the rage with the eco-loon warmistas here in Australia. They have to get themselves in the msm somehow and the ‘science’ is running a bit low these days. Come to think of it, a bunch of potheads or ex potheads are to blame for the whole CAGW warmista thing anyway.

Les Johnson

1700 acres? Really? 1700?
This is 6 orders of magnitude smaller than the area burnt annually, BEFORE California was settled.

pokerguy

“Fire plaguing Southern California were found with pot in their backpacks, “
Yes, they were so upset about the global warming problem they were driven to pot smoking… which dulled their senses and led to the fire. So there you have it. Climate change *is* responsible.

Les Johnson

fat fingers. 3 orders of magnitude….

Bill

What? A fire? Of course it is climate changinatiationitivity. Both Fire and Ice are.

John Frguson

I had heard on the news this morning that they potheads were throwing paper into the fire, before it got away from them.

Resourceguy

This is not going to go over well with the other massive advocacy BS group that promoted Pot for all great and wonderful, harmless purposes over the years. Call it the clash of the advocacy BS titans.

Janice Moore

How old are those homeless-by-choice guys anyway?
Didn’t they watch any Saturday morning cartoons when they were little kids? We saw stuff like this ALL the time. (they handed out comic books at school, too, for cryin’ out loud)
Guess their memories need refreshing, so……………
Yo, weed dudes. Listen up: “Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
Smokey Bear

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4b6d6Kd_34

pokerguy

“This is not going to go over well with the other massive advocacy BS group that promoted Pot for all great and wonderful, harmless purposes over the years. Call it the clash of the advocacy BS titans.”
Won’t make an issue out of it except to briefly note that many of you Conservative types like to scream bloody murder over government interference when it suits you, but draconian drug laws are perfectly fine. I never could wrap my mind around this paradox. Let’s throw people in prison for smoking a plant that grows in nature. It that’s not an infringement of civil rights, I don’t know what is…

Robert W Turner

Too bad there is never any details provided about what exactly is burning by the alarmists? Is it because it is the chaparral that is burning, an ecoregion that exists because of wildfire in the first place?

Rattus Norvegicus

Didn’t the governor just declare a statewide drought emergency? I lived in CA for more than 40 years and cannot remember a statewide declaration, although I do remember mandatory rationing in Santa Cruz County in the early to mid 90’s.

Robert W Turner

pokerguy says:
January 17, 2014 at 11:42 am
“This is not going to go over well with the other massive advocacy BS group that promoted Pot for all great and wonderful, harmless purposes over the years. Call it the clash of the advocacy BS titans.”
Won’t make an issue out of it except to briefly note that many of you Conservative types like to scream bloody murder over government interference when it suits you, but draconian drug laws are perfectly fine. I never could wrap my mind around this paradox. Let’s throw people in prison for smoking a plant that grows in nature. It that’s not an infringement of civil rights, I don’t know what is…
Agreed. Blaming a wildfire on pot is as bad as simply pointing at AGW. I’m quite certain human stupidity and carelessness was around well before flower power.

DirkH

Robert W Turner says:
January 17, 2014 at 11:46 am
“Let’s throw people in prison for smoking a plant that grows in nature. It that’s not an infringement of civil rights, I don’t know what is…”
As long as they give up their driving license I’m fine with it.

Actually, the fire is “anti-global warming” as the men were:

The trio had been sitting around a campfire “trying to stay warm,” Staab said, when a “gust of wind came up.”

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-colby-fire-update-20140116,0,6021283.story#ixzz2qgehlQ3k

John West

“the fire, which had destroyed 1,700 acres”
That’s one destructive fire! Imagine, acres gone (destroyed); never to be able to be used again.
(/sarc)

Janice Moore

Good point, Phil Jourdan.
So…. AGWers, why did the potheads start a fire in Southern Cal.?

DirkH

Reminds me of 2011, fire at Rainbow Festival in Israel (Greenpeace organized) (before Rainbow==LSBTTQI) (and after Rainbow==symbol of the SHAEF)
“Environmentalists – don’t you just love ‘em? 42 dead, 15,000 acres of forest and its inhabitants
annihilated, but little Miss Holier Than Thou’s toilet paper ecologically disposed of.” (that quote is from a now defunct page and not in the following article but it wraps up things nicely.)
http://www.jpost.com/GreenIsrael/PEOPLEANDTHEENVIRONMENT/Article.aspx?id=195702

bullocky

Realist:
More people – more fire bugs
– more potheads
– more campers
– more campfires
– more accidents
– more wildfires

Alarmist:
MORE CO2 = MORE WILDFIRES !!!!

Alan Robertson

Oh, i get it. Since AGW can’t be blamed anymore, the fire is all Conservatives’ fault for making arcane anti- pot laws.

Alan Robertson

philjourdan says:
January 17, 2014 at 11:49 am
Actually, the fire is “anti-global warming” as the men were:
The trio had been sitting around a campfire “trying to stay warm,” Staab said, when a “gust of wind came up.”
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-colby-fire-update-20140116,0,6021283.story#ixzz2qgehlQ3k
________________________
How quickly they forget… everything is due to global warming and that includes cold weather.

@Alan Robertson – My mistake. I forgot freezing to death was due to AGW.

pokerguy

“As long as they give up their driving license I’m fine with it.”
OK, but are you prepared to do the same for people who have a cocktail or two before dinner? How about cell phone users?
I’m not necessarily disagreeing, although there’s simply no contest when it comes to which is more debilitating to a driver’s skills…booze beats pot out by a long, long way.

Alan Robertson

philjourdan says:
January 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm
@Alan Robertson – My mistake. I forgot freezing to death was due to AGW.
___________________
Oh, but it is- it is.

I would wager that a lot of fires attributed to global warming are actually due to the camp fires of virtuous downtrodden international workers illegal aliens and Mexican drug cartel pot farmers.

Leon Brozyna

A touch of human stupidity coupled with one of those periodic California dry-spells.

higley7

1) I believe that they are not allowed to keep a fire break around their houses, which is why they get burned down every time a fire passes through. This is just plain stupid and criminal.
2) They do not allow enough regular clearing of underbrush and dead material to keep fires from becoming raging fires.
3) How many people realize that the canyon homes are not insurable? To cover these idiots living in a natural fire path, the government made the insurance companies start a pool of funds to cover these idiots. So, the normal people living in logically safe places are funding, with their inflated premiums, the idiots living in the canyons. Now, that’s a subsidy one can take to the bank, literally.

I predicted the MSM would soon start talking about the phenomenon occurring on the Sun. Today it’s linked on DrudgeReport.com, biggest news aggregate in the world.
The way MSM controls you is simple, they gatekeep information from the general public. That’s why they’re your enemy #1. Many people have figured that out and get their information from the internet these days. That’s what scares them the most.
Has the Sun gone to sleep?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25771510

gnomish

“I see your hair is burnin’
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar”
the Doors, 1971
the hills burn regularly.

MattN

See, if CA would just legalize it, they wouldn’t have had to go out in the woods to smoke their weed and this fire would never have happened….

gnomish

but wow. this is not the first time i’ve been seriously impressed with commenters here.
blame fire on immigrants or on pot?
so sad to see the cup of stupidity runneth over even at wuwt.

Mac the Knife

Be objective. Look at most of California’s countryside. If it isn’t irrigated, it is dry, brown desert. It doesn’t have ‘dry spells’ – dry is normal. It has very occasional rainfall (wet spells?) but is otherwise dry.
The canyon lands, gully washes, salt pans, and dry outflow plains all speak to very occasional rains that can cause short duration, water driven erosion and flooding followed by very extended periods of normal, dry weather. Of course, it is susceptible to fire. It is normally dry.

Richard Day

They were COLD. Thus, global warming is to blame.

pokerguy says January 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

Let’s throw people in prison for smoking a plant that grows in nature. It that’s not an infringement of civil rights, I don’t know what is…

The ‘next’ devolutionary step? – Refinement into ‘Honey Oil’ also known as hash oil or Butane Hash Oil (‘BHO’ oddly enough). Take 30 to 40 ‘hits’ all day long with each as effective as the previous vs simple ‘weed’ tokes which fail to ‘reward’ after a bit. Meet the new republic; much like the old opium dens of China …
Posted strictly in the interest of education and discussion:
“BUTANE HASH OIL” – watch the vid at this link … very ‘enlightening’ look at this coming culture
http://www.vice.com/weediquette-show/butane-hash-oil
‘Do you own and – risk the neighborhood?’
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/02/hash-oil-explosion/
‘Butane Hash Oil: The Future of Pot”
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-10-24/news/bho-butane-hash-oil/
.

Berényi Péter

phodges says:
January 17, 2014 at 11:13 am
“It wasn’t an arson,” Staab said. “They are charged with a crime but part of it is criminal stupidity.”
The men had grown cold and placed more paper into a campfire when the fire grew out of control.

There you have it. Global warming can cause criminal stupidity. Once it is done, it makes you grow cold. The rest is history.

Alan Robertson

gnomish says:
January 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm
but wow. this is not the first time i’ve been seriously impressed with commenters here.
blame fire on immigrants or on pot?
so sad to see the cup of stupidity runneth over even at wuwt.
____________________
You are on it, you are sooo on it. After all, everyone knows global warming is to blame. What’s wrong with these skeptic commenters here at WUWT?

For most of us, learning science meant mastering a body of known facts and related concepts that had been accumulated over the last few hundred years, especially the last 60 or so. That’s not how science is to be taught any more in any country but especially not under the new Common Core Next Generation Science Standards or the new C-3 Social Studies Standards in the US. Instead students are to be provided with conceptual lenses and Big Ideas that they are to apply to any ambiguous or undetermined situation. Facts are merely something offered to reenforce the supplied concepts.
Hyping all weather events that have disturbing visuals to CAGW taps into the seeds deliberately being created in K-12 classrooms for just that purpose. There’s even a behavioral science name for the desired mindset-obuchenie from the Russian psychologists who researched this as a political useful way to push ideological thinking without it being apparent. Working hand in hand with the media to disseminate the desired concepts is no accident. Each of the reports laying out how to see Sustainability usually has a section on the media strategy.
We just have to better appreciate how media and education are being deliberately used now to sell false beliefs that necessitate an ever increasing public sector.

gnomish said:
January 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm
…blame fire on immigrants or on pot? so sad to see the cup of stupidity runneth over…
—————————
gov’t report: fires caused by immigrants Illegal aliens
gnomish’s own stupidity cup runneth over onto his keyboard perhaps?

JamesS

I thought this was wildfire season in SoCal anyway?

gnomish

up your racist agenda, mark.

Third Party

http://www.geomac.gov is a good place to start.

Janice Moore

Are illegal aliens only of one race? How in the WORLD was Mark (and his two cats) being “racist?” (rhetorical Q only, gnome — I could not care less what you say in response)
Re: characterizing these guys as “homeless guys,” (with its sympathetic connotations): How much marijuana was in those backpacks? Sounds like they may just be common variety drug dealers.
@ Poker Guy (with a big smile): So, … pot does a lot but liquor is quicker, eh? Been doing some experiments (just joking)?
Say, are you now coming to us from Florida? Hope your move goes smoothly (whenever it happens).

how could homeless guys pot cause a fire today when there were fires in the past before there were homeless guys who smoked pot?
or maybe we cant understand what causes a fire today by looking at all past fires. maybe we can understand what causes warming today without understanding what caused warming in the past. maybe many things cause fires and many things cause warming and the study of history isnt all that illuminating about what causes are working today.

u.k.(us)

gnomish says:
January 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm
but wow. this is not the first time i’ve been seriously impressed with commenters here.
blame fire on immigrants or on pot?
so sad to see the cup of stupidity runneth over even at wuwt.
————
Kinda gotta agree.
Although in all my youthful bonfires/parties I’ve never started a forest fire.
There is still time ? 🙂

starzmom

Who knew cold campers might start a fire to stay warm? The biggest surprise is that a news media outlet might report that fact.

Janice Moore

@ Dirk H. — 12pm today — GREAT article. Yes, indeed, it summarizes the entire disgusting Envirostalinist movement in one story. The journalist was obviously sympathetic to the Enviro-cultist, labeling her intentions: “good” instead of the far more accurate “misguided,” or, better yet, “ignorant.” Thanks for sharing the link.

Sherp

I wonder if a Meth Lab blew out there in the forest?

Blaming CAGW is being peddled hard during this summer in Australia by all Warmistas. The recent bushfire in Western Australia, which burnt 52 houses, was produced by termites felling an illegally constructed power pole and its line in someone’s back yard, creating arcing and sparking. His house was burnt first and then others later. No Science is involved in the ‘proof’ of CAGW being to blame, as Warmistas live in a science free zone.

jlurtz

The Pacific Ocean temperature anomaly (Pacific Gyre located at N42, W145) is at 4.5C. This enormous amount of excessively warm ocean water is redirecting the Jet Stream [heat upwelling]. The redirected Jet Stream moves the moisture north preventing winter snow in California.
The Pacific Ocean has been warming since 1650 until now [due to the Sun]. The Sun has gone quiet and we have warm oceans and cool continents. Until the Pacific Gyre loses it heat, the mountains of California will not get rain. Prepare for a burning hot summer.