The news is bad, and is being widely covered. Here I just want to make a remark or two about the link between big fires and global warming.
As of last report, there are 15 known dead and 150 or more missing. Hopefully they are only virtually and not actually missing; there is a lot of confusion and communication resources are in many cases down.
Wild fires are tricky in more ways then one. It is easy to get caught in one (I’ve manage that myself), and it is hard to predict or fully understand why some years have more than others. There has been a long term trend nationally towards fewer wild fires, for several reasons, most of which have to do with human activities. The most significant part of that trend is that humans caused many, huge, often deadly wild fires in the past. The worst wildfire ever in Minnesota, in terms of Death toll, was during World War I and had mainly to do with farming and railroads being a bad mix. Cutting lots of land to farm provides the fuel, and in those days, railroads were travelling tinderboxes sparking fires everywhere they went. Continue reading Tragic and Unprecedented California Deadly Fire