University of Washington professor says west coast wildfires are not the result of global warming

The direct cause of the recent West Coast wildfires is sparking up conversations about climate change.

The governor of Washington called the outbreaks “climate fires,” but a scientist at the University of Washington says that it was a fairly benign wildfire season, until an unusual weather event sparked grass fires last month.

“It started pushing towards the west so we had high pressure inland. We also had unusual low pressure offshore and that produced these extremely unusual, easterly winds, and that’s what did it,” said Cliff Mass. “Some of the fires were already there. There had been some lightning fires in mid-August that weren’t going anywhere, and those blew up as the winds hit them. There were some electrical fires, some powerlines caused fires as well and then there were some arson, unfortunately.”

Mass says that if you look at the numbers, there is little reason to pin this year’s fires on global warming.

USDA meteorologist on California’s record wildfire season.