Remember when the massive California wildfires of 2017 were blamed on global warming? Never mind.

On June 8th, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) made its first official announcement via press release that 12 big Northern California wildfires in October 2017 were caused by problems associated with electric utility power lines.

The October 2017 Fire Siege involved more than 170 fires and burned at least 245,000 acres in Northern California. About 11,000 firefighters from 17 states and Australia helped battle the blazes. They concluded that 12 Wildfires in Mendocino, Humboldt, Butte, Sonoma, Lake, and Napa Counties were caused by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) “power and distribution lines, conductors and the failure of power poles.”

The words “global warming” and “climate change” were conspicuously absent from the announcement even through screeching environmentalists and Governor Brown blamed the fires directly on that universal boogeyman based on nothing more than speculation.

CAL FIRE’s investigations have been referred to the appropriate county District Attorney’s offices for review in eight of the 12 fires – Sulphur, Blue, Norrbom, Partrick, Pythian, Adobe, Pocket and Atlas – due to evidence of alleged violations of state law.

Read it all here:

Told you so.  It was a change in the Pacific Ocean patterns.

140 thoughts on “Remember when the massive California wildfires of 2017 were blamed on global warming? Never mind.

  1. And I also recall reports last year where a reporter (or two) stated that Gov Brown vetoed legislation which would have provided/required massive safety improvements to the power lines which caused the blaze(s).

  2. Remember when the massive California wildfires of 2017 were blamed on global warming? Never mind.

    We used to call these events “Forest Fires”. Somehow in the last few years the language has changed.

         If you control the language, you control the argument
         If you control the argument, you control information
         If you control information, you control history
         If you control history, you control the past
         He who controls the past controls the future.” – Big Brother, 1984

      • I believe acceptance of this terminology (wildfire) rules out that the fire was caused by the direct actions of Gerry Brown. Com’on you Dems. Even people who believe in CAGW, pro choice, diversity of everything but “thought” and political correctness can be evil characters and idiots. Take Eric Schneiderman or Weinstein for example. Stop voting for this dangerous man.

        Heck, here in Ontario, Canada we finally voted out the worst government the world has ever seen after 15 years of economic destruction, crippling taxation and UN/ Eurocentric lefty global governance. We put in a majority Conservative gov. I had my bags packed and weighing alternative places to move to after 80yrs in this country.

        • Another words you continually not learn from the past, sweep the mountain of dirt under the rug and embrace the criminality, crimes against humanity and treason in governments. Putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t change that it is still a pig. People like you are the support structure for the NWO.

      • In the fire business today there are two terms describing most fire, “wildfires” which are not deliberately planned, set and controlled and “prescribed fires” which are carefully planned, set and controlled. If not carefully planned “prescribed fires” can become wildfires (e.g., the Florida I-4 corridor fire several years ago.) There are several types of wildfires depending on what initially ignited the fire, criminal arson, accidental or negligent arson (e.g., failure to properly extinguish a barbecue or camp fire, cigarette, etc.), accidental (e.g., power line collapse) and natural (e.g., lightning strikes.) Yet the single biggest reason we have catastrophic wildfires is due to bad government policies and inadequate or no proper land management, e.g., totally excluding fires. Most states and the federal government land managers all prepare at some expense land management plans. Many include prescribed burn schedule.

      • aka “Prairie fires” Felix. There is no arguing that Wildfire has a more sinister sound to better stimulate the Amygdalas of those who’s attention is grabbed by “Breaking News.” We interrupt this program but never worry we will continue shortly with beeping icons and screen crawls to keep you stimulated to the evils of man made global warm…aaahh we really meant climate change all along but it is still EVIL and so are you for not listening to Governor Moon Beam.

        • I guess for those who don’t live in Southern California and have never actually experienced one of these fires approaching your home the term “wildfire” might seem like an attempt to make them sound worse than they are. For your information, “wildfire” doesn’t come close to describing being unable to see what is coming (if you can see the fire, it’s probably going away from you, if its being blown toward you, all you see is smoke and flying embers). And seeing homes only a short distance away being completely engulfed in flames. If it’s in a suburban area then thousands of homes are threatened. It’s a much, much worse situation than the lava in Hawaii.

    • Well said, and that is exactly what some are attempting to do and relying on us being too dumb to notice!

    • The most dangerous fires in California, especially in the south, are brush fires, not forest fires. It is perfectly appropriate to use the broader term “wildfires” to describe all the destructive fires in California. This is not some subterfuge or even a change in terminology.

  3. Yes, even though Cal Fire specifically mentioned the fires were a result of downed power lines the California media echoed the Governor’s unsupported assessment it was due to Global Warming. Some news sources played the “there was more to burn due to drought” blame but they still cited AGW.

    • Drought means less fuel, not more. When it rains, vegetation grows more lushly.

      In California, whatever has grown dries out in summer and early fall.

      • Whoever voted my comment down knows nothing about wildfires.

        Even liberals have to accept the fact that wet winters and springs make more fuel for fires in summer and fall, in regions of Earth with dry summers.

        “As Stephen Pyne, author of numerous books on fire and environmental history, explained, this year, an abundance of vegetation resulting from the region’s wet winter is likely responsible for the intensity of the recent blaze. In April, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to his state’s historic drought—after six years, unprecedented winter storms had refilled the state’s reservoirs and caked the Sierra Nevada in snow. The winter storms also brought the state’s moribund vegetation back to life, to the relief of many Golden State residents. Now, though, those grasses, needles, and other plants are coming back to bite residents. “When you have wet years, you can build up all the fine fuels, the shrubs, the needles, and all the stuff,” Pyne said. When they dry out in the fall, he says, “that’s what makes for all the fast-moving fires.” (Of course, dry conditions also exacerbate forest fires, leading to California’s Catch-22 situation. “Whether it’s exceptionally wet or exceptionally dry, you’ve got the material for a fire in California,” Pyne said.)”

    • And not just downed power lines. I recall seeing video at the time showing power lines whipped by strong winds arcing to undergrowth that had been allowed to get too close to the lines.

      Keep in mind this is Pacific Gas & Electric (the people who brought you Erin Brockovich); the most closely regulated utility on earth watched over by the finest of California’s bureaucrats. A true recipe for disaster; just ask John Galt.

  4. “The words “global warming” and “climate change” were conspicuously absent from the announcement”
    Naturally. This is a document listing the ignition events for each fire. Global warming does not ignite fires. Power line incidents etc do that.

    In Victoria, all our very bad wildfires happen on very hot days. The worst was on Black Saturday, 2009, which was also Melbourne’s hottest ever day (46.4°C), with fierce northerly winds. We had similar investigations. The worst fire was listed as caused by errant wires near East Kilmore. No fires were listed as caused by it being a very hot day. Or global warming.

    But it wasn’t the electrical incident that enabled the fire to burn through 100 km of forest and burn two towns in a few hours.

    • What you trying to say Nick? That “global warming” caused these fires? An extra, maybe .4 degree C, Making it 46C, wow, that would have made a difference. How about the green interference that makes hazard reduction burning more difficult? I believe this is also the case in California?

      • We have had three very damaging fire days in the last century. One was on our hottest day (Feb 2009), one on the previous hottest day (Jan 1939) and one was Ash Wednesday, 1983, also an exceptionally hot day. The ignition incidents were mostly of a kind that would not have caused much, if any, damage in milder conditions. The heat and wind caused the damage. And climate determines how likely those conditions are. I’m sure electrical poles fail in England, but don’t cause wildfires.

        • You need a different term, though, Nick. When a place that’s hot, dry, and dusty gets even MORE dry, hot, and dusty… well, you can’t really call that climate CHANGE.

          More like “climate doubling down.”

          • “When a place that’s hot, dry, and dusty gets even MORE dry, hot, and dusty”
            Australia has plenty of places that are hot, dry and dusty. But they don’t usually have wildfire problems. Most don’t have trees. Our problems are with places like Victoria, that get visited by hot winds, but where the climate is in many places good for forests.

            I believe N Cal is not usually hot, dry and dusty.

          • In summer, NorCal is usually dry and often very hot. Well do I recall leaving Palo Alto one summer morning headed for Fallen Leaf camp, Stanford’s Sierra retreat. When we reached Sacramento it was already 121 degrees F. This was in 1972.

            In the Bay Area, there is a typical spring and fall wind, on display during the fires last year.


            It has absolutely nothing to do with “global warming”.

          • I live in NorCal, and the Summer and Fall are usually in the 90-100 degF. in the central valley The fires noted were started during unusually high winds of 60 -70 mph, from the north. News pics showed a number of high voltage wooden poles snapped mid height. From the shadows, the lines ran east-west, so the poles had little bending support.
            Normally, the winds are mild, 10-20 mph, and from the south. We often get a ‘delta breeze’ that brings cool, moist air from SF. and 80 degF temps.

          • I’m not sure how much heating over how long is needed to cause wildfire events to increase in N Cal, but according to Berkeley Earth, San Francisco, which is in N. Cal, has experienced a mean rate of change of temperature of
            -.03 (+- .54) degrees C per century measured since 1990 which is going on 30 years. That is, it is cooling, albeit minimally. It certainly isn’t getting hotter. The whole of California runs
            .83 (+.39) degrees C per century since 1990. It’s all just a fraction of a degree no?

          • The Napa valley, like all of the interior of California and the foothills, is hot and dusty all summer and fall. We receive very little precipitation from May through September.
            The population of California has doubled since the 70’s which adds greatly to the risk of fire.

        • So, the three “very damaging fires” in Victoria all took place during the exact same time of year, under the exact same conditions, in 1939, 1983, 2009? Looks like Climate Same to me, not climate change.

        • Although it wasn’t during the ‘last century’ you left out ‘Black Thursday’ 1851.

          The temperature became torrid, and on the morning of the 6th of February 1851, the air which blew down from the north resembled the breath of a furnace. A fierce wind arose, gathering strength and velocity from hour to hour, until about noon it blew with the violence of a tornado. By some inexplicable means it wrapped the whole country in a sheet of flame — fierce, awful, and irresistible.

          The weather reached record extremes. By eleven it was about 47 °C (117 °F) in the shade. The air cooled to 43 °C (109 °F) by one o’clock and rose to 45 °C (113 °F) around four o’clock.

          I think it also holds the largest bushfire recorded (anywhere) at ~5 million hectares (12 million acres).

          • “I think it also holds the largest bushfire recorded (anywhere) at ~5 million hectares (12 million acres)”
            That area wasn’t recorded, nor anything that it could be based on. First settlement had started in Victoria 17 years earlier, and barely spread beyond the Port Philip region. There were no railways, telegraphs, and virtually no roads outside Melbourne. The tales grew in the telling.

            But anyway, it was indeed another very hot and windy day.

          • “I notice the favorite quote that you brandish (“breath of a furnace” etc)”

            Yes Nick, still the same today in 2018, they’re known as ‘nor-westers’.

          • It’s not in the main article. I guess it’s hard to track down every occurrence.

            So we expect in the near future, that will also be ‘fixed’?

            Won’t be too long, that according to history, I wasn’t even born 😉

          • Can you find an original source for the claim that 5 million hectares burnt? Who at the time could possibly have worked that out. Not only no satellites, aerial etc – not even roads or rail.

          • “Can you find an original source for the claim that 5 million hectares burnt?”

            Can you find an original source for the GST 167 years ago which includes both sampled (documented) land and ocean data?

            Any hoot, as I said below, your ‘Victorian Summers’ have not changed for at least 167 years … VIC burned then, and it still burns now.

          • Well, you and ‘Billy’ better get cracking then to ‘fix’ the error in our Government records. Should be easy with Turnbull on your side. 😉

          • Nick……Repetition DOESN’T improve your claim mate !
            “But each year — in all its forms — arson costs Australia around $2 billion. And on average, half of all those fires are lit by young people.”
            ( “Dave” is a pseudonym in this article )
            “Dave lit his fire in Victoria, where just a few years earlier 173 people died in the Black Saturday bushfires.
            An arsonist was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in lighting one of those fires.
            And so it was just a matter of time before police came knocking on Dave’s door.”
            IN AUSTRALIA we have many problems with POWER POLES
            FAILING but many more with LIGHTNING STRIKES and ARSONISTS.
            In isolated “out-back’ areas , often devoid of livestock and people ,
            the ‘grassfires’ are left to burn themselves out. They either run out of
            fuel ( grass ) or the rain storm which created the lightning that started
            them becomes heavy enough to extinguish them or the wind changes
            direction and blows them back on themselves ( back-burning ) and
            they just ‘go out’ through lack of fuel.
            Most ‘wildfires’ are of little consequence.
            It is only when they occur NEAR HOUSES AND PEOPLE that
            the frenzy to extinguish them occurs ! Especially if there is
            a TV crew in attendance !
            DESPITE THAT : Surveyors have delineated ALL the land
            in Australia and WORKING OUT AN AREA that has been
            “logged” ( had the timber removed ) or BURNT OUT is simply
            a matter of OBSERVATION and comparison WITH THE CHARTS.
            That 12 million ACRES would have been a large portion of a single,
            decent-sized , cattle station by comparison with MOST of a forest
            or a National Park ( near a city ).

        • Come on Nick,

          For fires spread by grasses and shrubs, hottest days are irrelevant. Grasses dry out in an hour and twigs in 10 hours. Dry winds are weather events and the fires that happen then are weather events. Nothing To Do with climate change.

          • Jim,
            “Nothing To Do with climate change”
            Sounds like you’re saying, also nothing to do with days when the power poles are exceptionally wobbly.

            In Victoria, grass fires aren’t quite as dependent on heat, but still some. And it’s the forest fires that are the real killer.

            But yes, it’s weather that makes a big fire day, not power poles. So then what influences the weather? Why is it a problem here and not in Finland?

          • Your obfuscating Nick. California’s Mediterranean climate naturally has hot dry summers. Finland does not. Silly comparison!

            California fires were not about forests, but grass and shrub. They were real killers.

            Ignitions were due power lines. Overall human ignitions extend fire season 3 times longer than natural fires.

            Alarmists like Trenberth and Gov Brown falsely blamed climate change. I call BS. The correct analysis would have pushed for more prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads and buried power lines to reduce Ignitions. But you Nick sounds like you are trying to obscure the issues and the deadly consequences of climate alarmism

          • “California’s Mediterranean climate naturally has hot dry summers. Finland does not.”
            Exactly. The difference is climate, not ignition events. And without the climate (Finland) you don’t get the weather events. So climate matters.

        • Nick

          I don’t know if Australia has them, but I believe the US has transformers atop at least some of their electricity poles, which are a fire risk in themselves.

          To my knowledge, we don’t have those atop any of our poles in England/UK.

          • We sure do – Lots of them. I worked for many years in Faults and Emergencies for one of the electricity distributors and there have been occasions where they “blow up”, spraying hot oil around. Usually this is in the summer, on a hot evening, with lots of load on the network. Callers to the call center generally aren’t impressed with the loss of power and the mess created!

        • Seemed pretty common over a hundred years ago.

          Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 – 1908) Saturday 6 January 1900

          Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954) Saturday 7 January 1905 p 7 Article

          Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 – 1922) Friday 2 February 1906

          Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 – 1922) Friday 17 December 1909

        • One was on our hottest day (Feb 2009), one on the previous hottest day (Jan 1939) and one was Ash Wednesday, 1983, also an exceptionally hot day.

          Before BoM, GISS and AGW tampering, temps in Melbourne, February 1851 were ~45-47C. What’s changed?

        • Nick !!!
          “electrical Poles fail in England……..”
          THAT’S A BIT RACIST ISN’T IT !!!?
          No !…….. Seriously…….England is VERDANT , MOIST and MOWN constantly
          by sheep , cattle and even Councils.
          There is seldom ENOUGH FUEL to create a decent “out-door” fire !
          ( It even rains as soon as you start a cricket match OR light the B-B-Q too ! )
          Many of the trees and shrubs are NATURALLY FIRE-RETARDANT which
          makes a very great difference from the pines and eucalypts of more
          DRY and fire-prone forests elsewhere.

        • “I’m sure electrical poles fail in England, but don’t cause wildfires.”

          As a matter of fact they do, but England doesn’t have eucalypt forests, much less eucalypt forests that have been allowed to accumulate fuel for decades. I happen to be familiar with the “Black Saturday” area, and it was a disaster waiting to happen.

          I well remember the first time I was there. A local botanist asked me if I noticed something peculiar about the forest. I said no, and he said “notice that all the trees are about the same size and age, that is typical for this species, the forest periodically burns to the ground, and a then you get new tree generation, all the same age”.

      • what is you “0.4 degree C” supposed to represent? Globally averaged , monthly mean “anomalies” may be of that order. That has nothing to do with local variations on individual days.

        2003 was only a few tenths of degree above “average” but it was far hotter than usual for an extended period here in France. It killed several thousand mainly old folks. It was not a few tenths of a degree that killed them.

        BTW, it’s bad form the tell other people what they are “trying to say” and then attack them for your own words. It’s called straw man tactics. If you don’t agree with something Nick said, try quoting it directly not rewriting your own interpretation and attacking that.

      • in this case , NO nick wasnt i believe.
        i was in Vic and also SA when we had the big fires
        days of 40+c with strong nth winds after a dryspell of usually around 3mths or so
        apart from powerlines theres idiot humans who light fires by accident or purposefully as well..
        throw in the greens moving to rural areas and not cutting trees down around homes and planting natives that go up like bombs, banning animals grazing govt parklands, and the normal aussie summer and at least every 4 or so years we burn.
        Vic is a laugh
        underground power? suure from the pole iIN the paddock, or on the highly grassed, massively overgrown 12 ft or more wide verges, with trees as well, carrying large lines- they force a run underground to the home
        utterly stupid!!! and theyre still allowing old PINE posts some of which have alarming tilts and get termited to stay on major roadsides and into paddocks full of crops/stubble n animals.
        yjey instated quotas of land to be burned off as precaution to what happens now?
        they REburn some spots every 2nd yr killing the native trees or making them unable to flower n set seed at all bevause theyre easy to get to and to for crews to work at.
        meanwhile seriously overgrown areas hard to get to get left, and no ones allowed to cut any of the prickly acacia growing all over because..birdies nest in it
        and they get fried birdies pdq.
        it burns like its name Kerosine bush” when its green year round.

      • Winds may be going down on average, in many places (not all). But it only takes one day combining great heat and wind. And it depends on local conditions. Here exceptionally hot days always have a strong North wind.

        • Very weak argument. Got any data on that “always”? Of course the study I quoted was supporting global warming killing people on hot days with no wind but then global warming, climate change, or whatever new name is made up when one doesn’t work out is responsible for all bad happenings, apparently. Hot, no wind, hot too much wind, yata, yata, yata. Unbelievable.

          • Victorian summers haven’t changed Nick;

            The Black Thursday bushfires, were caused in part by an intense drought that occurred throughout 1850 when the continent suffered from extreme heat. On 6 February 1851, a strong furnace-like wind came down from the north and gained power and speed as the hours passed. It is believed that the disaster began in Plenty Ranges when a couple of bullock drivers left logs burning unattended, which set fire to long, dry grass affected by the recent drought. The year preceding the fires was exceptionally hot and dry and this trend continued into 1851.

          • And I was on the back of fire truck in 1983, at Upper Beaconsfield, when the southerly cold change of weather (a normal summer occurrence in Victoria) came roaring through an already burning environment. The cold wind caused more damage than the hot, and killed 12 firefighters on the road parallel to where I was located. There were many other deaths that day too. It was my second year of 25 as a volunteer firefighter.

            These very common wind changes often take a fire that is long and narrow, running North-West to South-East and the South Westerly change takes the length of the existing fire an turns it all into the front heading North-East.

            It happened in 1983, I was there. It happened in 2009 to the Kilmore/Kinglake fire too. I was closely watching the weather and the fire, and knew that the change in weather would rip the fire right through the Kinglake hills. 174 people perished that day.

            It was started by poorly maintained power distribution equipment, and was aided by a pretty hot day near the end of a dry summer, high winds and a significant lack of environmental burn-offs to manage the fuel loads.

          • dips me lid to ya, that was horendous hearing she’d started up that day, i was in the wimmera and worried from early am onward we would have a fire too. and yes the temp drop n rain after also so common here
            SA when we had a dust storm you couldnt see a semitrailer in front of you with heat wind and then the Hills went up.. was awful too, but then the sth wind and temp drop of nearly 20c in an hr played merry hell there too.

          • we do have the odd hot day without wind
            but theyd be super rare in aussie summers
            the only thing that makes the heat bearable IS the wind allowing you to sweat n get cooler..
            and cooler is a very loose use of that word.
            we have the heat that sears your eyelids splits your lips and gives the best sunburn to visiting tourists;-)

        • I thought you said it takes 4 things…heat, wind, stuff that burns, and ignition. In the years without a “very damaging fire” are there zero days of great heat and wind?

          • ” In the years without a “very damaging fire” are there zero days of great heat and wind?”
            Well, one thing is for sure. In those years, the power poles are much the same. And we still have people around with a dubious regard for fire safety.

            In fact, in Victoria at least, a few degrees seem to make a huge difference. That Feb 7 in 2009 had been preceded by a heatwave at end January (during the Australian Open) which got to 45.1°C in Melbourne. There were bad fires, but mostly kept from doing too much damage. A week later it got to 46.4°C.

          • Nick – you should really learn the definition of “Weather” before commenting.
            And if you check history you would see that the 1930’s had a LOT more fires and area burned.

          • it probaly did, but the amount of people and dwellings have magnified by thousands and many are citygreens moved out with naff all bush sense!

          • no but maybe less days over 36c in a row, maybe no powerpoles falling over but even then branches drop, which is why they now come round ALL rural areas on 3yr cycle hacking trees on your land and roadsides savagely to avoid that.
            and more people watching suspicious cars n others iin rural areas especially.

    • The temperature of the air feeding the fire has a lot less to do with the rate of combustion than the wind fanning the flames. There is a correlation between hot, dry air and fires, since dry brush burns much better than wet brush. The size of the fire and its growth rate are much more dependent on the wind blowing the flames and burning embers ahead of the main flame front. The fires in Australia you mention, and the 2017 fires in California had a lot more to do with the speed of the wind and less to do with the air temperature. It was a warm wind in California, their equivalent of the Santa Ana winds of the Los Angeles area (caused by a high pressure zone over central Utah), but it was the speed of the air that both started the fires and then made them grow so quickly.

      • Loren, false. The California fires were caused by electric power lines, not wind speed. Read the article.

        • “Read the article”
          But then it tells us that it was a ” It was a change in the Pacific Ocean patterns.”. I don’t think that changed the power lines.

          • Nick you continue to obfuscate the problems. There were 4 ingredients to those fires.

            1. Human ignition- power lines
            2.HIgh fuel loads from fire suppression
            3. Grasses and shrubs that become highly combustible within just hours of exposure to dry winds, in combination with the the natural summer drought caused by Pacific Ocean pressure patterns
            4. High winds fanned the flames. Winds that should decrease if global warming blame was any factor at all!

            You are dishonestly trying to suggest if one ingredient was involved then the other was not. I call more BS on you Nick!

            Gov Brown and Kevin Trenberth climate alarmism resulted in faulty analyses with deadly consequences.

          • “You are dishonestly trying to suggest if one ingredient was involved then the other was not.”
            No, it is this article that does that. It says that because there were ignition events, that rules out global warming.

            My contention is that what makes for a destructive fire is not something peculiar about the ignition events. It is the other factors that you mention, plus heat. And they are related to climate, and it is perfectly possible that AGW could be affecting them.

          • And you Nick are dishonestly saying because Finland has a different climate then global warming matters. Why don’t you absurdly argue climate change matters because Antarctica does have fires.

            Stop BS !


            And ignition has been a critical problem as human fires have extended fire season 3 time longer than what would happen if only natural fires were happening. Yet alarmists like Trenberth and Gove Brown hijack the longer season to blame climate change. They are reprehensible!

        • The high winds[ 60-70 mph ] blew over the wooden east-west poles. see the posts above.

        • without a wind fires are slowburning thats WHY you try n do burnoffs in still morn or evenings., even a brisk breeze can get a stubble paddock doing 40+miles n hr or more very quickly. i know cos i ran the car along a planned paddock burn n checked its speed one yr.

    • Hot days do not cause forest fires, nor do they make them worse.
      Even you should know that Nick.
      What causes forest fires is growth that has been dried out due to drought.
      As you well know, there has been no increase in either rainfall or drought in recent decades.

      • “When a place that’s hot, dry, and dusty gets even MORE dry, hot, and dusty”
        Australia has plenty of places that are hot, dry and dusty. But they don’t usually have wildfire problems. Most don’t have trees. Our problems are with places like Victoria, that get visited by hot winds, but where the climate is in many places good for forests.

        Here in 2009 we had plenty of warning. Our premier said (Wiki):
        “On 6 February 2009—the day before the fires started—the Premier of Victoria John Brumby issued a warning about the extreme weather conditions expected on 7 February: “It’s just as bad a day as you can imagine and on top of that the state is just tinder-dry. People need to exercise real common sense tomorrow”.[13] The Premier went on to state that it was expected to be the “worst day [of fires conditions] in the history of the state”.[13]”
        He’d been saying that for days.

        • “And you quote a Labor premier”
          He was our only premier. And he was dead right. And he wasn’t basing it on “Good growth conditions in winter and spring followed by drying conditions in summer and autumn.”. He was basing it on the weather forecast for that day.

          • Forrest – (ironic really) 🙂

            Check the rest of the comments on here. Nick is desperate to shore up his case.

            Pathetic really.

          • if youre not an aussie you just have no idea. I often disagree with Nick but on this hes right.
            i dont sleep much in the hot windy days or nights i keep windows open to smell smoke and tend to be looking to the sky very often all day, most rural folks here do that. for good reason

        • Nick

          “People need to exercise real common sense tomorrow””

          Like don’t light BBQ’s in a forest, or throw lit dog ends out car windows.

          Not, have the common sense to be scared of wind.

          • in summer in Aus the wind IS your biggest fear if your’e smart, and you live anywhere outside suburbia

        • Exactly where did you get that quote Nick, I didn’t say it.
          Why don’t you respond to what I did say?

      • Looking thru reports in the US it has been the increase in people visiting forests that has led to an increase in the last 30 years, doesn’t take long for an exhaust pipe in the wrong place to set fire to brush and all the other fire lighting equipment that people use.

        Add on change in flora and fauna. Cheat Grass has ripped through the US crowding out drought, fire resistant plants leading to more fires.

    • Could it have been bad forest management due to misguided efforts to save, e.g., a possum?

      “The industry is already feeling the squeeze. Planned future timber harvest was lost to the state’s catastrophic Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. Last year the Victorian government poured more than $60 million into keeping the Heyfield hardwood timber mill open in the La Trobe Valley after the previous owner, Hermal Group, said dwindling timber supplies from VicForests had made it unviable.

      Under government ownership, Heyfield is laying off workers and local manufacturers are saying it has become increasingly difficult to source timber of a size appropriate for making furniture. There is speculation about further cuts to timber supplies. The alternative is to downgrade protections for the leadbeater’s possum from critically endangered to endangered and open up new areas to logging.

      The state government’s plan for Heyfield is unclear but it is possible the taxpayer money already invested will be lost along with the mill workers’ jobs it was trying to protect. A key decision on the leadbeater’s possum is expected shortly, before the Victorian election in November, setting up a contest of trees, possums and jobs.”

    • From the Royal Commission regarding the 2009 Victorian bushfires. (2,133 houses destroyed and 173 lives lost).

      About 7.7 million hectares of public land in Victoria is managed by DSE. This area includes national parks, state forests and reserves, of which a large portion is forested and prone to bushfire. DSE burns only 1.7 per cent (or 130,000 hectares) of this public land each year. This is well below the amount experts and previous inquiries have suggested is needed to reduce bushfire and environmental risks in the long term.

      • and theyve banned cattle grazing in the mountains and areas they find hard to burn, now theyre going to cull the brumbies that ARE keeping the areas theyre in cleaner and less undergrowth infested…because they have hard hooves and might churn waterholes up and upset some imaginary swamp critters.

    • Lol, there goes racehorse Nick Stokes again. The world got through millions of hot days like that one without fires before electrical ignition sources existed.

      IIRC that’s the fire that spawned the AGW psychosis of Miriam O’Brien aka Sou @ Hotwhopper.

    • “But it wasn’t the electrical incident that enabled the fire to burn through 100 km of forest and burn two towns in a few hours.”

      You’re quie right, it was the high winds that caused such an intense and fast moving fire, the 46C temperature had little to do with it.

    • that true but a ot the burnt areas were overgrown around settlements and planted right up to house walls BY the green types

  5. Did global warming cause the end of the drought, which provided abundant light fuel, or is that off-topic for the AGW narrative?

  6. “caused by problems associated with electric utility power lines.”
    How come power lines never seem to fail on cool or wet days??
    Only on hot days when the risk for a fire is the greatest?
    Check the records for power failures anywhere due to faulty lines on wet or cool days. Does not happen.

    So what is going on?
    Word is that most fires were set by operatives of Mexican drug gangs, burning out marijuana fields, which they saw as competition.
    Blaming power lines is the states way to dodge the real cause in an effort to protect their new policy of legalized marijuana. This apparently is more important at the moment than their crusade on “Climate Change”.
    California, land of fruits and nuts.

    • “How come power lines never seem to fail on cool or wet days??
      Only on hot days when the risk for a fire is the greatest?
      Check the records for power failures anywhere due to faulty lines on wet or cool days. Does not happen.”

      Power failures do not happen on cool or wet days?? They do here.

      But you’re right in one way. October 2017 was not caused by a sudden change in the nature of power lines. Or the synchronised decision of marijuana growers to reduce competition. The Cal authorities had issued a red flag warning many days in advance. It wasn’t because they had suddenly noticed faulty power poles, or troublesome marijuana growers. It was because of weather and forest conditions.

      • yup i had the council tell me i couldnt get 4 trees on the neighbouring fence line cut cos they wouldnt fall on my new fence.
        just 3 weeks later after rain and a windy day
        two fell down smashing the new fence.
        council then decided i could remove the 2 others id complaines about n said jackschitt about thiur refusal prior.
        you never park under gums in hot weather
        you never park near them at all after heavy rain n wind.

    • Our NorCal ‘rainy season ‘ storms do indeed blow down power lines, which is why I have a backup generator. We lose power here 3-4 times during the windy-rainy season…and yes, they do not start fires. Very wet stuff doesn’t burn well.

    • Here in the Great NorthWet (Seattle area), the ‘cool and wet’ winter months are exactly the time when we usually have power lines knocked down and power outages. A wood stove, a stack of dry firewood, and a back up generator are standard equipment for the prepared home owner.

      • That’s because those are the months of many high-wind storms, some of them very severe (with gusts of up to 80 mph). But these are not part of Seattle’s “lore” for some reason, so outsiders are unaware of them.

    • I agree. This uniformly simplistic CAL Fire “investigative” report smells like a politically motivated blame game. Every Law firm in CA has been actively advertising for fire victims … promising BIG $$ settlements from PG&E … whom the Trial Lawyers were already blaming for the fires … for months. Deep pockets $$$ … always the target of lawsuits. The Deep, Deep, pockets of PG&E ratepayers. WE will PAY for the upcoming massive jury $$$ awards for pain and suffering. WE will be paying $$$$ massively increased electricity rates. This is part of the WAR on fossil fuels … that provide most ALL of PG&E’s electrical power. Our State is being destroyed by a leftist eco-cabal who are eliciting EACH and EVERY State Bureaucracy to tear-down the economic ecosystem of the Golden State.

      PS …

      The homeless (illegal) man must be setting fires for PG&E

  7. The U.S. Dept of Forestry had a conference a few years ago that linked fires and terrorism. Are they sure that all of these fires were started by power lines?

  8. I take issue with this official statement. I was earlier demonstrably told by the CAGW crowd that these fires were clearly the work of the evil genius Magic Molecule…code name CO2.

    • Yet CO2 is a common propellant in fire extinguishers.

      It must be a cover, like the mob boss who gives lots of money to charities. 😮

  9. I’m puzzled here. On one hand the fact that the report doesn’t mention global warming and says all the fires were started by power lines is taken as evidence that global warming had no effect on the fires. But then you say that the fires were caused by a a change in the Pacific Ocean patterns despite the words “Pacific Ocean patterns” being conspicuously absent from the report.

  10. If I were in charge of litigation for PG&E I would get every soundbite of Gov Moonbeam declaring the fires cause as global warming and make him recant. PG&E can’t possibly be the cause. It was global warming. Puts Moonbeam in a bad position. We would soon see which means more, money, or the cause.

    • Not to mention that the CDF report said trees and tree limbs knocked the lines down or started fires. Keep in mind that these were not limbs falling from above the power lines but blown onto them by the wind. What state law would allow utilities to go onto private property and clear trees far enough back from power lines that nothing could hit them? Most cities allowed only a 4 foot cutback from the lines. Imagine the screams if PG&E showed up in a town to implement the 20 cutback required in many Midwestern areas. Where was the governor for that?

      Next, consider that there is still a rule on the books from the Enron/deregulation fiasco in 2000 that utility officers would be awarded criminal charges for turning off main line power for other than scheduled maintenance reasons. This was because the utilities were forced to buy power at greatly inflated state market prices but not allow to adjust customer billing to cover the difference. Utilities warned that they might have to resort to rolling blacks out if power providers would not accept their IOUs. PG&E was forced into Chapter 11 over that for a while. So, was chopping power in windy areas part of the CPUC allowed procedures?

  11. Same as the Royal Commission found in regards to the devastating 2009 Victorian (Australia) bushfires. 2,133 houses destroyed and 173 lives lost.

    Nine of the 15 fires the Commission examined were started as a direct or indirect result of human activity; five were associated with the failure of electricity assets, and the causes of four were thought to be suspicious.

    About 7.7 million hectares of public land in Victoria is managed by DSE. This area includes national parks, state forests and reserves, of which a large portion is forested and prone to bushfire. DSE burns only 1.7 per cent (or 130,000 hectares) of this public land each year. This is well below the amount experts and previous inquiries have suggested is needed to reduce bushfire and environmental risks in the long term.

  12. Nobody seems to include the volatility of eucalyptus trees in the mix. Too much fuel on the forest floor, ribbons of bark that lead fires up trees and the the hot northerly winds that come with a high pressure systems over the middle of Australia and fire embers that cause crowns to ignite way ahead of the blaze are a combination of factors all leading to fire. Since pine trees and eucalyptus each have volatile oils in their leaves the effect of hot, dry and windy conditions leads to bad fires. Power lines that fall in winds and add to that the idiots who hear warnings of bad fire days use the information to light fires …..

  13. Trouble with blaming global warming for major destruction of property and loss of life is that possible solutions to the problem are not necessary to give consideration to outside of reducing our carbon footprint over the balance of a century or blaming Exxon Mobil. It also leads to felonious vetoing of a bill to upgrade deficient electrical lines as was done in this case.

    It was competent engineers who arrived at this conclusion which was borne out in a matter of months. How can a legislator overturn a professional’s assessment of imminent danger?Why are victims of Califiornia fires in this case not suing the state gov and even having charges laid at Browns feet for criminal negligence? Hell you guys in US plug up the courtrooms with frivolous law suits that lead to warnings that coffee is hot, but dont go after someone who prevented urgentl rectification of a hazzardous situation that ended up destroying 100s of millions worth and killing numerous citizens. Sheesh, this political correctness is dangerous to ones health. Forthwith, such critical decisions should not be in the hands of BS politicians.

  14. Now, can we expect legal action to recover the cost from those responsible? I would really like to see a court action which forced witnesses to try to prove the myth of CAGW!

  15. global warming doesn’t have any pockets to fleece for the ambulance chasers.

    PG&E on the other hand…

  16. It was an increase in forest fires story, due to global warming, that got me banned from the Guardian comments section. Pointing out the cherry picking of the graph they used and the fact that forest fires had been declining over all from the 1920s was too much for them and I had to be eliminated.

    BTW I’m still banned from the Independent.

  17. Gov Jay Inslee of Washington State basically blames all weather events, and forest fires (not as the ignition source, but as an exacerbating factor), floods, droughts, etc on climate change.

  18. The difference here is PG&E has money. Climate change doesn’t. You blame the person who has money in order to get restitution, even if it costs everyone in lost power etc.

  19. And to think, Chris is constantly whining about how many posts I make in a day.
    In this article alone, Nick has posted more entries than I have done in the last two weeks, but no Chris in sight.

  20. A question about the numbers. The Cal Fire reports:

    The October 2017 Fire Siege involved more than 170 fires and burned at least 245,000 acres in Northern California. About 11,000 firefighters from 17 states and Australia helped battle the blazes. They concluded that 12 Wildfires in Mendocino, Humboldt, Butte, Sonoma, Lake, and Napa Counties were caused by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) “power and distribution lines, conductors and the failure of power poles.”

    So, what is the relationship between the 170 fires and the 12 wildfires? Did the 12 wildfires include 170 separate fires? Or has Cal Fire determined the cause of 12 wildfires out of a total of 170 fires?

  21. The proximate causes of a fire –“What started this fire?” — is not the same as the question “Why was this fire so big and so hard to contain?” or “Why did this fire burn so hot and fast?”
    Big, hot fires are caused by an abundance of fuel, usually in the ground, most of which has accumulated during the recent decades of a fire management regime which called for fast knock-down of all fires — as opposed to “Let it burn in a controlled manner”.
    Every dry summer worsens fire risk and effect. Winds increase fire intensity and spread.
    When you combine them all — abundant fuel, long hot dry summer, high winds — you get a bad fire season in the western United States.

    Poor trees trimming by utilities results in trees on power lines and fires, as illustrated in the Cal Fire report.

  22. What it amounts to is the simple fact that…
    If the events are weather caused, then the injured parties can’t sue mother nature for throwing High Winds at them.
    If it can be placed in the deep pockets of the local utility, then there is some entity that can be blamed and sued against.

  23. Since the discussion has diverged into Australian fire conditions, I’ll simply note that EVERY major inquiry into fires in South-Eastern Australia has found that we are not adequately managing fuel.

    Banging on about incremental changes in phenomena that have been observed in SE Australia since the earliest days of European settlement, is a red herring . We cannot stop droughts, but we can mitigate fuel build-up.

    …… and yes, fuel depends on the environment. In grasslands, a high fuel year is a wet spring followed by a hot, dry summer. In forests, a high fuel year is one in which the previous autumn, winter and spring are dry (drought).

  24. Global warming could never start fires in any case, it just isn’t hot enough. You need a source of ignition. Dodgy power lines would most likely do it.

  25. The claim was never that the fires were ignited by global warming but that they spread rapidly and couldn’t be controlled due to the warmer climate. We need honesty, not the dishonesty of the alarmists.

    • Depends on how you use the term “cause”.

      Ignition, fuel and weather are three legs of the tripod.

      It’s not dishonest to point out that the alarmists blame whichever is most convenient to the their cause du jour.

  26. I understand that EMF has a drying effect.

    I also understand that one of the by-products of burning fossil fuels is water vapor.

    If we ever get to the point that all our electricity is generated by non-water-vapor-producing methods, I can’t help but believe that things will be drier all over, and fires will be ever more frequent and widespread.

    Imagine all the long, long high tension wires taking electricity from wind farms or solar farms to consumers several states away. Has anyone factored in the labor and tools to clear the trees and brush out from under those lines?

    I would much rather have power plants that are local to each municipality, fired by coal or natural gas. It would be much harder to take down multiple states at once if we stayed with our “old faithful” set-up. It ought to be a national security issue!

    If only we had a leader who actually loved his country. Oh, wait! We do!

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