Famous Fires

When speaking of famous fires, there are always a few that quickly come to mind, for example, the Great Chicago Fire, The Great Fire of London and the San Francisco Earthquake Fire. In reality, most of the major cities of the world have been burnt to the ground, at least once. In some cases, these great fires have been caused by war, like when Sherman burned the city of Atlanta, destroying some 3,000 businesses, hospitals, homes and schools. More often, they have been the result of natural disasters, like earthquakes, and poor methods of construction, made worse by the difficulty of fighting fires that reach a certain size or cover multiple locations.

The Great Chicago Fire started in the evening of October 8, 1871. While records show that it did likely start in a barn owned by Patrick O’Leary and his wife Catherine, there is absolutely no evidence that it was the fault of the family cow kicking over a lantern. Propelled by Chicago’s never-ending wind, the fire spread over 2,000 acres, right through the heart of the city, in a little over 24 hours. The death toll was under 300 people, but more than 90,000 were left homeless at the start of the frigid Midwestern winter. The massive destruction resulted in Chicago rebuilding based on what was learned from the fire and Chicago’s fire department became a model for other large cities. National Fire Prevention Week was created to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and has been instrumental in increasing awareness and promoting prevention in an effort to keep tragedies like this from happening again.  

The Great Fire of London began on September 2, 1666, in a baker’s shop, and lasted for several days. We think of London as being this wonderful European city built of stone and brick. Not so in 1,666. In those days, there were closely packed houses constructed mainly of very dry and brittle wood. The fire burned for four days, destroying more than 13,000 homes, churches, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, and other buildings. Fortunately, and quite amazingly, very few lives were lost. In addition, there was actually a benefit that came out of this catastrophic event. The area of the city in which the Great Plague had settled the year before was entirely destroyed by the fire, in effect, sterilizing and making it inhabitable again. London, like Chicago, learned the lessons of this monstrous fire and rebuilt using brick and stone. It’s not as easy as being able to click here to stop a fire, but the building codes are much more progressive.

The San Francisco Earthquake Fire was started by the rupturing of the San Andreas fault on Wednesday, April 18, 1906, but the scale of the fire was more because of broken and leaky gas lines and firefighting errors. San Francisco’s Fire Chief, Dennis T. Sullivan, died in the initial earthquake, leaving a lack of leadership that led to disastrous decisions, such as using dynamite to create a firebreak. This only resulted in more fires, covering 490 city blocks.  Nearly 25,000 city buildings and homes were destroyed, and the death toll was believed to be 3000, most due to the fires. San Francisco’s building codes are now among the most progressive in the world.

If you would like to learn more about the Great Fire of London, please watch the video below:

Do Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors Keep Families Safe?

Fires in the home start for a variety of reasons. Cooking fires are high on the list, but so are things like candles left burning, smoking, electrical issues from faulty wiring and appliances and a range of other factors that are likely to occur at night, while everyone is asleep. In fact, half of all deaths from home fires happen between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Fire alarms and smoke detectors cannot prevent these fires but they can keep families safe from injury and death, as well as reduce overall property damage. The one major roadblock in their effectiveness is the human factor: fire alarms and smoke detectors must first be installed and then maintained.

The vast majority of homes in the U.S. have at least a one smoke alarm, which is a very good thing. Less good, however, is that three out of every five deaths related to fire in the home, was the result of no alarms present or none that were working. This strongly implies that many, if not most, of those deaths might have been prevented with a $49 smoke detector or a new package of batteries.

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), “The death rate per 100 reported fires was more than twice as high in homes with no or no working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths per 100 fires) as it was in fires with working smoke alarms (0.53 deaths per 100 fires). The lowest fire death rates were seen in homes with hardwired smoke alarms and sprinklers.”

Smoke detectors that are hardwired into the structure’s electrical system are more effective than those that operate solely on batteries. This takes the need for the batteries to be checked and replaced on a regular basis out of the equation. There is also the ability of hardwired detectors to be interconnected throughout the house, which increases warning time for those farther away from the point of origin of the fire. NFPA reports that the death rate is 2.5 times as high in fires where there are battery-powered alarms instead of those that are hardwired.  

Fire alarms and smoke detectors can play a very large role in keeping people safe in the event of a fire, but only if they are used properly. Units installed in more locations or increased alarm volume may be required if the occupants have disabilities, take medications that cause them to sleep especially soundly, overuse alcohol or drugs or when there are other mitigating factors. Not only do batteries need to be tested and replaced but nuisance alarms must be taken care of in a responsible manner: ripping the unit off the wall because it goes off at the wrong time is, obviously, not responsible. When a smoke detector isn’t functioning properly it must be repaired or replaced immediately. Not doing so puts family members at significant risk.

Common Fire Hazards

On average, U.S. fire departments responded to:

A fire every 23 seconds

A structure fire every 63 seconds

A home fire every 86 seconds

An outside or unclassified fire every 52 seconds

A highway vehicle fire every 181 seconds

On average, fire claims nine lives every day

Fact Sheet, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

In 2015, there were more than 1.3 million fires in the U.S., resulting in the deaths of 3,280 private citizens. More than 68 thousand firefighters were injured, 68 of them fatally. Many of these fires could have easily been avoided with simple precautions and foresight.

Common Fire Hazards

The first step in prevention is to be aware of the circumstances that most often lead to fires. Some of the most common fire hazards include:

Cooking – according to the NFPA, “cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries and is tied for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.” These fires tend to happen while frying or when cooking is left unattended. Keep paper towels, pot holders, cookbooks and other combustible materials away from burners and never leave to check your favorite website while something is cooking on the stove or in the oven.

Candles –  everyone loves the glow of candlelight, but candles are a major cause of home fires. They often start due to being left too close to flammable items, left unattended or accidently knocked over or being brushed against by a dog or cat. When you leave the room, blow out the candles.

Smoking – smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades, but the number has been coming down, mainly due to less people smoking. For those who do continue to smoke, never do so in bed, when overly tired or anywhere in the vicinity of medical equipment or oxygen.

Clothes dryers – dryers contain a heating element, and it should not come as such a surprise that they carry a significant potential for starting fires. It is important to consistently clean the lint trap, as well as the vent pipe and area where the screen is housed. Always keep combustible materials away from the dryer.

Children playing with fire – children start more than 7,000 home fires a year, per the NFPA. They should not have access to matches, lighters and other ignition sources and should be taught fire safety as early as possible.

Electrical – electrical fires can be due to a variety of reasons, such as equipment malfunction, overloaded circuits, damaged cords, overheated light bulbs, space heaters and other appliances and causes. Make sure to replace frayed cords and damaged plugs. Never run wires under rugs or furniture, and think twice about do-it-yourself electrical projects.

Flammable liquids – fuels, cleaning supplies, solvents, paint and dozens of other liquids stored under kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as stacked and stored in closets and garages, can ignite from a simple spark or even excessive heat. Store outside the home in a cool, well-ventilated environment.

Lightning strikes are another cause of fires, but there is little that can be done other than to minimize damage by unplugging electrical equipment and using surge protectors, which may or may not provide protection. For all of the other common fire hazards listed here, just a few moments of awareness and being proactive can make all the difference.

If you would like to learn more about fire safety, please check out the following video:

How Does a Fire Extinguisher Work?

Everyone knows how to work a fire extinguisher, right? While it isn’t difficult, being faced with a fire tends to rattle people, and time is not necessarily your friend. A small fire that could be easily put out can quickly get out of hand if it takes too long to get the fire extinguisher into action. Something that can help, is to simply remember to P.A.S.S. This is an easy-to-remember acronym that stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep. You pull the pin, which is the step often forgotten, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and use a sweeping motion to totally extinguish the fire.

Fire extinguishers have been around for nearly 200 years. The first known patent for one was in 1723, but it involved using gun powder to explode and distribute the liquid meant put out the fire. This model did not prove wildly popular. What we consider the first modern fire extinguisher, much like what we use today, was invented in 1818 by British Captain George William Manby. Basically, all fire extinguishers function generally the same: the fire-extinguishing contents are held under pressure until released with the lever or handle. What does differ are the agents used on the fire. They vary depending on the type of fire and either remove the supply of oxygen, reduce the heat or reduce the fuel that is keeping the fire going.  

There are five types of fire. It is important to know the type of fire in order to choose the correct fire extinguisher. Using the wrong type can be dangerous and make the fire worse or spread it.

  • Class A – normal combustibles such as wood, paper, and cloth.
  • Class B – flammable and combustible liquids and gases, such as gasoline and paints.
  • Class C – electrical fire.
  • Class D – flammable metals, such as sodium, potassium and lithium.
  • Class K – cooking fires, cooking oils, greases, fats

Common Types of Fire Extinguishers

Water and Foam – uses water to remove the heat component and foam to reduce the oxygen from the fire. A water extinguisher can be used only on Class A, while foam can be used on A and B.

Carbon Dioxide – takes away the oxygen and removes the heat through the cold discharge. Effective on Class B and C fires.

Dry Chemical – the multi-purpose Dry Chemical extinguisher is the most popular of all extinguishers because it can be used on Class A, B and C fires.

Wet Chemical – used on Class K, cooking-type fires to remove heat and separate oxygen and fuel.

Dry Powder – similar to dry chemical extinguishers, separates fuel from oxygen or removes the heat component of a fire. Only used on combustible metal fires, Class D.

Safe Ways to Build a Bonfire

Whether your favorite season is summer because of those long days at the beach or are the kind that lives for the ski slopes when the thermometers plummet in winter, who doesn’t love the transition seasons, spring and fall? It’s hard to find fault with warm spring days when everything is coming back to life. Birds are singing again and pretty much everything starts blossoming and blooming. But, as wonderful as all of that, is there really anything better than the first nip in the air that signals that fall is here? The sweltering heat of summer is past and it’s time for gorgeous color changes, long walks, football rivalries and, maybe best of all, those autumn bonfires!  

Most of us have fond memories of backyard bonfires when we were growing up. Some were for the purpose of burning mountains of leaves that had been raked. Others were built for “wienie roasts” and attended by the entire neighborhood. Everyone had their own special method for toasting the perfect marshmallow and the art and intricacy of building s’mores could rival many of today’s cooking shows.

Those childhood bonfires were especially fun because they were so carefree and easy. That’s because there were adults present who were responsible for building and monitoring the fire so that no one got hurt and surrounding property was protected. Now that we are the adults, it is important to know just what all is necessary to insure a safe, fun experience for everyone. That means learning safe ways to build a bonfire.

Steps to Follow for a Safe Bonfire

  • Research legal issues pertaining to your area, including dates, times, locations, etc.
  • Obtain permit if one is necessary
  • Check with local fire department for safety requirements and recommendations
  • Find a clear spot, far away from fences, buildings, trees, roots and plants and sheltered from wind
  • Gather necessary components:
    • Bricks or stones
    • Tinder material, like twigs, pine needles, bark, newspaper, etc.
    • Kindling, small to medium sticks
    • Logs, dry hardwood is best
  • Use bricks or stone to create a circle
  • Place the tinder in the center of the circle, surrounded by the kindling stacked in a teepee shape
  • Arrange logs parallel to each other on two sides of the kindling teepee
  • Repeat for several layers, not more than 5, arranging logs perpendicular to previous layer
  • Drop match into the center so that it ignites the tinder material
  • Watch for sparks and flying embers. Be sure to have a source of water nearby, just in case.

Now, the only thing is left is the search for the perfect stick to roast that wienie and toast those marshmallows! That, of course, and to remember to make sure the fire is completely out before going in for the night.

When the word “Bonfire” is spoken, the hit song by Childish Gambino comes to mind. Here it is in all its glory!

The Best Songs About Fire

Songs are written to express what we often find impossible to say in another way. We do this literally and through symbols, which makes the elements, earth, air, water and fire, favorites of song writers. And, of these, fire is the one that most often shows up in song. Warmth can bring comfort and flames can leave scars, which opens up a wide range for storytellers.  

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of songs that make reference to fire. Just a few of the more well-known songs about fire are:

“Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash

“Set Fire to The Rain” by Adele

“Fire” by Jimi Hendrix

“Fire” by Bruce Springsteen

“Fire” by The Pointer Sisters

“Light My Fire” by The Doors

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel

“Into The Fire” by Sarah McLachlan

“Fire and Rain” by James Taylor

The list could easily go on and on. Some lesser-known songs about fire become more well-known as time passes and similar tragedies occur.

James Keelaghan wrote “Cold Missouri Waters” about the Mann Gulch Fire of 1949 in which 13 firefighters died. Most of them belonged to a team of smokejumpers who parachuted into the area only to be almost immediately cut off from any escape route by unexpectedly high winds. Within minutes, a “blow-up” of the fire covered 3,000 acres in less than ten minutes. One smokejumper, Wagner Dodge, made a desperate attempt to survive by creating an escape fire. He tried to get the others to do the same but they ran for other cover instead. Dodge dove into the middle of the charred area the fire left and prayed.

The final two verses of the song tell the story:

Sky had turned red, smoke was boiling
Two hundred yards to safety, death was fifty yards behind
I don’t know why I just thought it
I struck a match to waist high grass running out of time
Tried to tell them, Step into this fire I set
We can’t make it, this is the only chance you’ll get
But they cursed me, ran for the rocks above instead
I lay face down and prayed above the cold Missouri waters

And when I rose, like the phoenix
In that world reduced to ashes there were none but two survived
I stayed that night and one day after
Carried bodies to the river, wonder how I stayed alive
Thirteen stations of the cross to mark to their fall
I’ve had my say, I’ll confess to nothing more
I’ll join them now, because they left me long before
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri shore

There are songs about fires that actually happened but were less dramatic and tragic than “Cold Missouri Waters”. The English rock band, Deep Purple, witnessed a fire that was started during a Frank Zappa concert when a fan fired a flare gun at the ceiling. The venue, a casino, was totally destroyed, along with all of Zappa’s musical equipment. Deep Purple members, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Anderson Paice then wrote the song “Smoke on the Water” about the experience:

We all came out to Montreux
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn’t have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
Smoke on the water

They burned down the gambling house
It died with an awful sound
Funky Claude was running in and out
Pulling kids out the ground
When it all was over
We had to find another place
But Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
Smoke on the water

Then there are the songs that tell about the courage and sacrifice of real life, modern day firefighters. “The Firefighter Song” was written by New York State firefighter, Paul Cummings, after responding to a fatal fire that occurred shortly after the birth of his daughter. He wrote the song for himself in an effort to try and make sense of the tragedy and reconcile his duties on the job with those at home. Cummings never intended for the song to be made public, but once a few of the firefighters in his company heard it, the song became a hit. The final chorus is a good representation of what was going through his head after that fire:

And they don’t want any money
For the things they train to do
They help the ones in need
And they see the whole job through
Well aware of the costs, That it takes to save a life
But that doesn’t matter, To the ones they are inside
We all need to sing, Yeah we all need to sing
We all need to sing, that firefighter’s song
And we all need to pray, cause that firefighter’s gone

What Is Stop, Drop and Roll?

It is one thing to sit in a classroom listening to a safety presentation or to read about proper procedures in the event of a fire and a totally different experience when actually faced with it. The difference can be expressed in one word; panic. This is what led to the “Stop, Drop and Roll” program and why it has proven effective.

For the vast majority of people, there is both fascination and fear when it comes to fire. However, fascination vanishes in a heartbeat when confronted with an uncontrolled fire. Few injuries are more painful than a burn, and there are few things more terrifying than part or all of your body catching on fire! There is a reason why it seems perfectly realistic in movies that someone would leap from the upper levels of a tall building, with zero chance of survival, rather than face the prospect of being engulfed with flames.

A severe burn, the kind that can result when someone’s clothing catches on fire, can not only be extremely painful, but it is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the U.S. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), more than 300 children end up in the emergency room every day because of burn-related injuries. Of those 300 per day, two die from being burned. This is why it is crucial that everyone, especially children, know what to do if clothing catches on fire.  

Stop, Drop and Roll

To minimize injury, when clothing catches fire, the response should be immediate:

Stop – try not to panic and above all, do not run. Running only feeds the fire with more oxygen, which is the last thing you want to do.

Drop – as quickly as possible, drop to the ground in a prone position.

Roll – immediately start rolling over and over, backwards and forwards, in order to shut off the supply of oxygen and smother the flames. Do not stop until the fire is completely out.  

The “Stop, Drop and Roll” program has proven very effective. Through the years, there have been suggestions to make it better. One was to add “Cover”, which meant to cover the face with the hands before dropping and rolling. This would help protect the face from burns and potential scarring, as well as keep the super-heated air from burning the lungs. The argument against this is that it makes the rolling part less effective. The other main suggestion was to add “Cool” to the end, because of the importance of cooling the burn area as soon as possible. The discussion about enhancing “Stop, Drop and Roll” is ongoing. The main concern is that its effectiveness comes from its simplicity, and no one wants to jeopardize that, especially when they want people to visit their website.

If you would like to learn more about Stop Drop and Roll, please watch the video below:

What Is the Flammable Fabrics Act?

The Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA), was enacted by the U. S. Department of Commerce in 1953 and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There had been increasing public concern and outcry resulting from a number of serious incidents in which children were severely burned. Many of these involved brushed rayon, high-pile sweaters that became known as “torch sweaters” because of the frequency in which they caught fire. Children’s cowboy chaps, often marketed with the name of the popular television star, Gene Autry, were made of brushed rayon, which ignited easily and flash burned.

The law was designed to prohibit the sale of articles of clothing and fabrics which are highly flammable. Clothing, or wearing apparel, is a fairly vague term but, basically, means any article of clothing, costume, uniform, etc., intended to be worn by an individual, but it did exclude hats, gloves and footwear.

In 1967, with the support of President Lyndon Johnson, Congress amended the Flammable Fabrics Act and expanded its coverage beyond clothing. This amendment added interior furnishings, as well as paper, plastic, foam and other materials used in wearing apparel and interior furnishings. Under the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), flammability standards were established for clothing textiles, vinyl plastic film (used in clothing), carpets and rugs, children’s sleepwear and mattresses and mattress pads. Enforcement is also under the purview of the CPSC and carried out through ongoing testing and inspections. These flammability standards, which regulate clothing and the textiles intended for the manufacture of clothing, are contained in Volume 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter D – Flammable Fabrics Act Regulation, in the following references:

  • Part 1610 Standard for the Flammability Testing of Clothing Textiles
  • Part 1611 Standard for the Flammability of Vinyl Plastic Film
  • Part 1615 Standards for the Flammability of Children’s Sleepwear: Sizes 0 through 6X
  • Part 1616 Standards for the Flammability of Children’s Sleepwear: Sizes 7 through 14

There is an ongoing balancing in act in which the government strives to keep its citizens safe without going overboard with regulations. This often results in a basic level of protection from items that pose a high probability of risk. The Flammable Fabrics Act is such a standard in that it provides minimal protection. While much better than in the days of “torch sweaters”, there is still a need to be cautious in our purchases. According to the National Association of Fire Marshals, “more than 4,000 consumers suffer severe burn injuries and an estimated 150 or more die when their clothing ignites from even minimal exposure to ordinary household ignition sources.”

It always important to do our own research and practice vigilance as consumers. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, may well remain the best advice of all.

What Kind of Toxic Materials Are Found in Fire Smoke?

Ask anyone about dangerous occupations and being a firefighter will inevitably make the top of the list. What most people do not realize, though, is that it isn’t the fire, or even the building collapsing around them that is the most dangerous: it’s the toxic material found in fire smoke. This is even more true, today, because our homes and commercial buildings are increasingly filled with chemicals in plastics, foams, fabrics and other materials that weren’t in existence not all that long ago.

Breathing smoke during or even following a fire is hazardous because not all materials burn cleanly, resulting in toxic-laced smoke and soot being produced. These substances can be extremely harmful to anyone breathing them in. Even though firefighters wear protective clothing, masks and carry oxygen tanks, not everything seals well enough to remove all toxins.

Different types of fires release different substances. Every fire produces smoke that contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter, which is microscopic solids or liquids suspended in the smoke. Particulates have the ability to penetrate into the lungs and blood stream and may cause DNA mutations, heart attacks and other serious issues. Depending on type, specific fires can contain toxic materials, such as:

  • aldehydes
  • acid gases
  • cyanide
  • sulfur dioxide
  • nitrogen oxides
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • benzene
  • toluene
  • styrene
  • various metals
  • dioxins

When carbon monoxide is inhaled, oxygen in the body is depleted, which can lead to headaches, heart conditions and reduced alertness. Particulates that reach the lungs can cause a wide range of health issues, such as shortness of breath, respiratory irritation, as well as make conditions like asthma and heart disease worse. Increased physical exertion can make cardiovascular issues more pronounced during exposure to carbon monoxide and particulate matter, which creates a perfect storm of opportunity for firefighters to be susceptible to the worst of these effects.

Inhaling smoke for even a short time can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. The odor is often nauseating. Breathing becomes more difficult. Even more serious, there is the potential for long term health effects from exposure to the various components of smoke. For example, asbestos was supposedly banned from construction in the U.S. in 1980, but it is still present, not only in older buildings but also newer construction where contractors have gotten around the regulations. Exposure to asbestos can cause various health issues, the most serious and well-known is mesothelioma, cancer of the lungs, abdomen and heart.

Common sense would indicate that exposure to smoke should be limited, but, of course, that is difficult, if not impossible, when charging into burning buildings is in your job description on your website. The more research that is done on the effects of toxic substances in smoke, the clearer the risk to firefighters.

Whenever you see a fire like the one below, please evacuate and stay safe!

What’s Causing The California Wildfires?

Wildfires move terrifyingly fast, reaching speeds of nearly 15 miles an hour. They literally consume everything in their path, including trees, brush, homes, wildlife and people. More than 100,000 wildfires rage through the U.S., on average, each year, charring and clearing between 4 and 5 million acres. In California, the hot, dry Santa Ana winds contribute to an already serious fire situation by carrying sparks for miles. There is another factor, however, that experts believe to be far more responsible for causing the wildfires in California, and that is people.

We know that wildfires can be caused by nature. Typically, depending on the location, the trigger is lightening or lava. In fact, in remote parts of the world, natural events are the prime sources of wildfires. Not true in California or the rest of the U.S. According to the National Park Service, a good estimate is that 90 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by people. The exact means varies. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Campfires
  • Burning trash
  • Smoking
  • Vehicles (sparks from overheated tailpipes, dragging chains while towing, etc)
  • Kids playing with fire
  • Gunfire
  • Power tools

In California, the heat during the summer, combined with those Santa Ana winds and ongoing drought conditions make for ideal conditions for wildfires but they still require something to get them started. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) reports that, besides the above list and other, less common sparks, one in five wildfires in California is started by arson.

The motivation behind intentionally setting a fire that has the potential of taking human life and destroying vast amounts of wildlife, property and resources is unfathomable, but, whether by intent or accident, the result is the same. And it can be catastrophic. There is, however, a silver lining to this very dark cloud. Lightning strikes and volcanic eruptions are beyond our control. One day, perhaps, that will change, but no one sees it happening anytime soon. Human behavior, on the other hand, can be changed and, because it is the behavior of people that leads to the vast majority of wildfires, that means we have the ability to make positive changes.

Various organizations, like Cal Fire, are working on those changes as part of their overall mission of preventing fires. They are employing a wide range of programs that include pre-fire engineering, vegetation management, fire planning procedures and, especially, educational programs designed to increase the awareness of fire hazards and steps leading to prevention.   

The cause of wildfires and the remedy can be pretty well summed up in this statement from Cal Fire spokesman, Daniel Berlant, “Weather doesn’t cause fires–weather just causes a fire to burn. It’s the people that have the role of actually preventing that fire.”