“Strong winds fanned new fires in Southern California [last] Thursday, burning homes and forcing residents to flee in a repeat of a frightening scenario already faced by tens of thousands across the state.” (AP News)
The left blames climate change for exacerbating the fires and calls for policy changes to mitigate future damage.
“Critics like to point to human land-use practices as the cause. But they cannot explain the devastating infernos of the past decade—these would not be possible without human-driven climate change. Last year's National Climate Assessment made clear that climate change played a greater role in the observed increasing extent of these wildfires than land management or fire suppression efforts…
“In the Western US, climate change has increased the risk of fire weather fivefold and has doubled how much land has burned. Wildfire frequency has quadrupled since the 1980s, and fire season has lengthened by more than two months (78 days)… While any number of factors (lightning, a discarded cigarette, a campfire, or faulty power line) may ignite a fire, it's the underlying environment that matters once a fire starts… Without solving [the] problem at its source, the fires will only continue to rage bigger and spread further.”
(Michael E. Mann, Newsweek)
The right argues that the fires are exacerbated by the state government prioritizing climate change initiatives over basic maintenance and safety.
Some posit that “The technological answer [to the risk from exposed power lines] is the power lines should instead be buried beneath the surface… We are fully capable of providing an electricity grid year-round without burning down half the countryside. Other places in other countries manage it without problems. It is, though, more expensive… PG&E has asked for permission to charge higher rates so that it can clear the paths of those lines, replace old posts, and generally maintain the system better. They've also been told, so far at least, that they can't have them… California will keep burning until we accept higher prices for electricity.” (Tim Worstall, Washington Examiner)