On Monday, Cal Fire announced that it had investigated the number of reported fire incidents over the past 24 hours and found that the number was “too high” for Cal Fire to accurately track the fire that destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge and damaged homes and businesses in the city of Los Angeles.
“This was a very complex situation,” Cal Fire Commissioner Craig Conner said.
“We’re trying to figure out exactly what happened and what caused it.
We’re trying really hard to do that.”
The incident is part of a broader problem of public perception of the size and scope of California wildfires, which have grown increasingly more destructive in recent years.
In recent weeks, the fires have burned a large swath of California, scorching hundreds of thousands of acres, and caused billions of dollars in damage.
The fires, which are caused by carbon monoxide-producing forest fires, are a major part of California’s overall carbon footprint, a carbon that the state cannot use to power its economy.
The vast majority of carbon emissions are from power plants, which emit carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
But there are also wildfires that burn a large area of the state, and California’s carbon footprint is still growing, as it does every year.
As of January, the state’s carbon dioxide emissions were about 30 percent higher than in 2007, when the state was still reeling from a drought.
Conner explained that it is not clear exactly how the Cal fire was able to burn so many homes, or how much carbon the fires released.
But he noted that “the number of carbon-related fires is just a fraction of the overall state emissions.”
Conner acknowledged that it would be difficult to accurately calculate the number and type of fires that occurred over the course of a 24-hour period because the state had to conduct the investigation itself.
“When you have that many fires, you have to go through a lot of data analysis,” Conner told reporters.
“You have to make sure the fire is actually a fire that was actually a carbon-positive event.
That’s why we need the data.
That data can be pretty hard to come by.”
California is one of the few states that does not have an official climate-change database, which is one reason why the state does not track its carbon emissions directly.
Conners said that his agency had asked the state for more data on the fires that burned during the past month.
“The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s carbon data is not available yet.
That is why we asked for that data and the state is working on that data,” Conners told reporters, adding that “we’re hoping that the data will come soon.”
He noted that Cal Fire was able, despite the data crunching, to accurately count the number or type of wildfires that burned in the state during the month.
The Cal Fire spokesperson told me that the agency is currently conducting a second investigation into the CalFire incident, which was the subject of a tweet by Twitter user @joe_joseph, who described the fire as an “incident with a large fire.”
He wrote, “In this case, we have a large number of people that lost their homes.
In this case there was a lot more carbon emitted.
That fires is something that is going to continue to happen.”
“I am going to assume it was caused by COVID-19 and not by the fire,” Conning said of the tweet.
But the tweet also implied that the Cal Fires “failed to identify the COVID [Common Cold Virus] as the cause of the fire.”
Conners noted that the tweet was not the first time Twitter users have misidentified the Cal fires as an environmental disaster.
In September, Twitter user “@dwc_briar” tweeted that the wildfires were the result of the “sickening [expletive] drought” that was forcing Californians to “eat the dead” and to “take their [excessive] water” for granted.
“I think the fact that people are going to blame [the Cal fires] on drought is just not appropriate,” Conns said.
And a California native who tweets under the handle @kamal_sir posted this tweet on Sunday: “I don’t think CalFire should be held accountable for the COVE outbreak.
They’ve had a horrible track record with wildfires in the past.
They should be working with the states and communities to keep the COVD out of our airways.
Conns told me he did not have enough information to comment on the tweet, but added that “people are just looking for more evidence to say this is a COVID outbreak.”
“We don’t have that data to make that call,” Conans said.