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The Glass Fire Wildfire in Sonoma County. (Photo: Wikipedia)

National Fire Center Disappears ‘Inconvenient’ U.S. Wildfire Data

Truncated data set is perfect for claiming ‘climate change is making wildfire worse’

By Katy Grimes, May 13, 2021 7:40 am

With state officials already warning that this year could be the worst wildfire season California has ever seen, Gov. Gavin Newsom is blaming “climate change” and “extreme weather” due to climate change, rather than prioritizing clearing away underbrush, thinning out forests, and allowing prescribed burns.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer.

In December 2017, Meterologist Anthony Watts published an article: “Is climate change REALLY the culprit causing California’s wildfires? Watts proved that the federal government’s own data showed wildfires had declined significantly since the early 1900s, undermining claims made by the media that climate change was making wildfires more frequent and severe.

Flash forward to 2021: Watts, a California Globe contributor, notified the Globe that the National Interagency Fire Center, the keeper of U.S. wildfire data for decades, tracking both the number of wildfires and acreage burned all the way back to 1926, has now “disappeared” a portion of it, and only show data from 1983. You can see it here.

The entire dataset was available to the public for decades, Watts says.

Why would the NIFC do this?

Watts explains in an article at Climate Realism:

By disappearing all data prior to 1983, which just happens to be the lowest point in the dataset for the number of fires, NIFC data now show a positive slope of worsening wildfire aligning with increased global temperature. This truncated data set is perfect for claiming “climate change is making wildfire worse,” but flawed because it lacks the context of the full data set. See figure 1 below for a before and after comparison of what the NIFC data looks like when you plot it.

Watts says with the Biden administration now in control of NIFC, the agency now says:

“Prior to 1983, the federal wildland fire agencies did not track official wildfire data using current reporting processes. As a result, there is no official data prior to 1983 posted on this site.” 

“This attempt to rewrite official United States fire history for political reasons is both wrong and unscientific.”

“The reason for NFIC erasing wildfire data before 1983 is not transparent at all. NFIC cites no study, provides no scientifically sound methodological reason to not trust the historic data that previously the agency publicized and referenced,” Watts said. “Indeed, NFIC provides no rationale at all for removing the historic data justifying any claim that it was flawed or incorrect.”

Read Anthony Watts important article at Climate Realism.

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13 thoughts on “National Fire Center Disappears ‘Inconvenient’ U.S. Wildfire Data

  1. Another “Man made scientific emergency” At last, I now understand that childhood story of “Chicken Little” The greenies need to change the stats to validate the B.S. about climate change. Since climate change is the cause, we needn’t take responsibility for forest mis-management or the failure to build more water storage. This is also a convenient way of fear mongering so emergency power over-reach can be justified and maintained.

  2. These constant lies and manipulations and book-cooking are ALL on Gavin Newsom.
    California is soaked through with deception and corruption and it’s no longer the exception, it’s the rule. As you know.
    Thank goodness for Katy Grimes and The Globe. Grateful for myth-buster Anthony Watts too.

    1. The progressive left in 2020/21 have elevated the art of fact and news suppression!
      Agreed ShowandTell, thank goodness for Katy and the California Globe staff!

  3. A perfect example of “How to Lie with Statistics” in order to support your political narrative.

  4. Chumps
    Insurance companies know truth…look at the punishing rise in premiums. Beyond belief….your economic life is declining rapidly….and standard of living…

  5. Democrats demand we obey the science and then fake the science to produce political justification for their totalitarianism. We see it over and over again. Covid, Climate and more.

  6. All Democrats in charge need to resign and leave the country. If they want to live. IMO.. Whats coming will get bad and innocent people will suffer for the crimes of the Democrats if they don’t go..

  7. Do you remember when you got your car smogged and you saw how much or how little your car polluted? Now you get a pass or fail. Why did they change that?

  8. You’ll notice the period of the least severe fire seasons extends from post WWII, when modern sawmills were being built, and lasted until Bill Clinton curtailed federal timber sales in the West after the Northern Spotted Owl was listed as endangered.
    Less logging = more forest fuels = more catastrophic wildfires. It’s as simple as that.

  9. Newsom is giving $10Billion in rebates to Californians already getting plenty of help and only $550 million to battle wildfires. Where’s the outrage? Democrats and liberals are smarter than this; they can’t fall for this abuse of power of Newsom trying to avoid his recall. There is plenty of help wanted jobs across the state; let’s get people back to work and put the money to better use like battling wildfires, repairing roads, and improving education. Wake up California

    By the way: a rebate insinuates you overpaid in taxes. Where’s my check

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