Thousands Evacuate as Northern California Wildfire Spreads

Thousands Evacuate as Northern California Wildfire Spreads
Image copyright: Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes in Northern California as the Thompson Fire, which broke out on Tuesday in Oroville, expanded further to 4.7 square miles on Wednesday.

  • The Butte Country's Sheriff's Office initially directed 28K people to evacuate but later reduced some of these orders to warnings and allowed residents in many zones to return home.

The Spin

Narrative A

It's no coincidence that nearly all of the 20 largest fires in the state's history have occurred over the past two decades. Recent research has shown that climate change is to blame for the increase in high-severity wildfires in California, as record-breaking temperatures and a low-humidity atmosphere have aggravated the fire season.

Narrative B

Though correlations between climate change and an increase in wildfires in California may deceive the general public, actual science indicates that global warming plays, at most, a secondary role — and by no means a clear one. Wildfires have become more intense over the past decade, but that is primarily due to how land is managed.

Metaculus Prediction

Public figures in this story

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