Those Strange California Fires Explained Part 2 | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Those Strange California Fires Explained Part 2

Don’t worry, I'm not inhaling very far. -USA Today


PART 2 - Ignition


Is the Trumpster right? Are Mexican drug cartels behind the CA fires?


Even before recreational legalization, California accounted for 49% of the US marijuana market in 2014.


And now? Holding its breath, High Times squeakily reports that the hardest hit areas in Northern Cal were “pot farms – just before legal sales in California were set to begin.”

“With the crop at its peak, just about ready for harvest,” as many as 36 pot plantations were destroyed, the flagship marijuana magazine lamented. “Millions of dollars’ worth of plants” intended for store shelves when their sale becomes legal on January 1, 2018 were… toast.


Even better – at least from the perspective of Mexican drug cartels – this first wave of highly-leveraged gringo pot farmers may never recover. 

Don’t breathe, it’s harvest time in CA -Josh Edelson AFP/Getty

For many producers, the financial losses include not just harvest-ready crops, but recent investments in infrastructure to comply with licensing regulations in preparation for recreational marijuana legalization next year,” NBC reports.


Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech, which grows and sells marijuana in California, estimates that farmers typically invest upward of $5 million in their facilities and as much as $3 million on growing the crop itself. 


On the eve of legalization, “California grows an estimated 13 million pounds of [medicinal] pot annually, shipping four of every five pounds to other states,” observes Maureen Meeha. 


Thing is, the heart of harvest season – known locally as “Croptober” – is also that region’s highest month for wildfire risk. Sonoma County alone counts as many as 9,000 marijuana farms of varying sizes. With over 200,000 acres affected by wildfires… if some of these fires were lit by bandidos, they may have won big.


As Adam Drury writes, “Federally backed crop insurance isn’t available for marijuana farmers. Nor are cannabis crops eligible for federal disaster relief or emergency assistance.” 



Each acre of cannabis there was worth roughly $1.7 million. Now, outdoor pot farmers in Southern Oregon and California’s “Emerald Triangle” of grape and pot growers are freaking under fading sunlight dimmed by a perpetual smoky haze.


Veteran grower Brent Kenyon worries that smoke settling like “plastic” over his mature plants is suffocating the poor dears. “In the critical end-of-summer flowering period,” writes Duke London, “lack of UV means a smaller, less potent product.”

If California cannabis farmers are worried their customers will not be into smoking smoky smoke, they must be panicking in the face of mandatory state testing. That’s right. All cannabis sold legally must be approved by California’s Office of Cannabis Control. 

Unfortunately for the Californians – and very fortunately for their ruthless rivals south of the border – plants choking on smoke are at increased risk of mold, mildew,                                                                                                               fungus and plant-equivalent coronaries. 


“How much of Northern California’s outdoor harvest will make it past the rigorous testing standards?” Meeha mourns. “The outlook is grim. “ 


Illegal in Mexico - legal in much of USA  -Smokers Club


Medical marijuana sales totaled $2.8 billion in the USA last year. Recreational sales could boost revenue beyond $6.5 billion in just three years.


This is not good news for Mexican drug cartels, who are already seeing their revenues from pot plummet. While drug kingpins are having seizures, other seizures by the U.S. Border Patrol have fallen to the lowest level in a decade, Oscar Pascual reports.


“Two or three years ago, a kilogram of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” complains an endangered Mexican marijuana grower. “But now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.


Even worse for the cratering pot cartels… 

“The quality of marijuana produced in Mexico and the Caribbean is thought to be inferior to the marijuana produced domestically in the United States or in Canada,” the DEA boasted in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment.


The Mexican Competitiveness Institute estimates that Mexico’s cartels will lose $1.425 billion from Colorado and another $1.372 billion from Washington state’s legalizations. 


While overall drug trafficking revenues could fall by up to 30%, the Sinaloa cartel is looking at losing half of its current revenues.


Seizures by the U.S. Border Patrol have nosedived from 2.5 million pounds (!) of pot in 2011 to a paltry 1.9 million pounds in 2014 – a trend that continuing “legalization” in Canada and the United States can only make catastrophic. 

Already, the quality can’t compare, writes TIME’s Ioan Grillo from Mexico City. “Legal U.S. growers produce gourmet products, as opposed to the bog-standard Mexican ‘mota’. American dispensaries even label their drugs, showing how strong they are, measured in THC.”


Who knew?


“It is no surprise to me that marijuana consumers choose to buy their product from a legal tax-paying business as opposed to a black-market product that is not tested or regulated,” exhales Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “When you go to a legal store, you know what you are getting, and that is not going to be contaminated.”


Who wants to be contaminated? TIME reports that the legal marijuana juggernaut “could be the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy. It grew 74% in 2014 to $2.7 billion.”


Right now, Americans are spending about a hundred- billion-dollars on illegal drugs every year. About $40 billion of that is going to... pot. 


To ascribe motive for certain cartels to become firebugs, simply subtract this dollar figure from the treasuries of these outraged organizations.


Suspected arsonist caught on camera (and later arrested) running from Calif. fire - NY Daily News



In 2016, Damin Pashilk was charged with several counts of arson for the 3,929 acre Clayton Fire. He remains in jail in lieu of $5 million bond. 

Arrested in connection with setting a fire in Sonoma County Wine Country this year, Jesus Fabian Gonzalez is a seriously illegal alien who has been twice returned to Mexico. 


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued detainer requests for Jesus five times in the past year alone, including October 16, on suspicion of arson in Sonoma County. But this “sanctuary jurisdiction” does not honor ICE detainer requests.

'Selfie' arsonist wins 20 years in prison and $60 million fine for starting California wildfire — RT America

Arson is used “by drug dealers and gangs as a weapon” to combat their competition, says John R. Hall Jr. PhD, assistant vice president of National Fire Prevention Association's Fire Research and Analysis Division. “A six-month study of five U.S. cities found that roughly 22% of the arson fires studied were drug-related.”

Another man linked to multiple CA wildfires charged with arson -footballhebdo.com

When fired up by TV coverage of massive blazes, copy-cat arsonists reach for their Zippos. According to the U.S. Fire Service, arson constitutes one-fourth to one-third of all fires on protected federal, state, and private lands.


How many wildfires have been deliberately set this year will never be known. Some 80 to 85 percent of all arson cases “are never solved or cleared by an arrest. About half of those arrested aren't prosecuted, and about one-third of those prosecuted aren't convicted,” Hall tabulates. “Altogether, the percentage of set fires for which someone is convicted is roughly 2%.”


Downed power line sparks fire, threatens buildings near Clayton, CA -CBS


“The causes of California wildfires are numerous and include vehicle sparks, runaway debris burns, runaway campfires, arson attacks, compromised power lines, lawn mowers rolling over dry grass, fireworks, target shooting and lightning,” write Jenna Lyons and Kurtis Alexander. Among the San Francisco Chronicle reporters’ long listing:


2016: A private power line at an archery facility came into contact with a tree causing two deaths as 48,019 acres and 386 structures burned in the Erskine Fire. Also last year, an abandoned illegal campfire killed one person and burned 132,127 acres in the Soberanes Fire.


In 2015, a homemade home electrical connection killed four people and burned 1,955 structures over 75,067 acres. Lightning caused the Rough Fire that year, incinerating 151,623 acres. And that September, the California Public Utilities Commission fined Pacific Gas and Electric Co. $8.3 million for failing to maintain trees around a power line that sparked a massive blaze in Northern California. The seventh-most destructive wildfire in California history burned for three weeks, killing two people and destroying more than 900 structures.

And so on…

“There is ample evidence to implicate windblown power lines in at least some of the wildfires,” Snopes shouts over the Internet uproar over these weird wildfires. “A review of emergency radio traffic recordings found that fire crews were dispatched to at least 10 spots in Sonoma County in response to reports of sparking electrical wires and exploding transformers as high winds pummeled the area on the night of Oct. 8,” Snopes references the San Jose Mercury News

“The first fires were reported about the same time.”


Electrical power lines and electrical equipment  not space aliens and laser beams  cause 76% of wildfire damage.



Atmospheric CO2 is currently at levels not seen for 800,000 years,” reports veteran war and climate correspondent, Dahr Jamail.


No wonder the last three years have been the warmest 36 months ever recorded. As 2016’s record surge in atmospheric CO2 continues into 2017, fuggitabout limiting global temperature increases to a disastrous 2C this side of the Permian. 


And remember, fellow Earthlings – all of the havoc we’re currently experiencing on our screens and in our neighbourhoods is the result of a 1C temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution started stoking all that coal.


A stroll through the New Arctic -groundtruthtrekking


“Why are the mainstream media saying that hotter fires are the new normal?” demands david777111.


Answer: Because they are. 


A warming climate will make Santa Ana winds more frequent and faster, a new study published in Environmental Research Letters asserts.


Specifically, if the models are close to being right, look for intensifying CA winds to fan something like 60% more destructive and larger fires by mid-century. During this increasingly interesting period, steadily hotter, drier summers will see non-wind-drivenfires nearly doubling.


Climate change is playing havoc with the hydrological cycle. As alternating record flooding and record drought deliver perpetual supplies of explosive “ladder fuel” to front yards everywhere, a shiny, brand new study shows that if global carbon emissions continue unabated, Americanos can expect at least 1 extreme dry "event" every year by the 2070s. Extreme wet periods will increase to about 15 per decade.


"That would load the dice toward higher fire activity,” says bioclimatologist, Park Williams.


Sorry, pal. Climate change on the cusp of climate shift is loading the dice toward this year’s sci-fi-level wildfirestorms and beyond.


And we keep doing it to ourselves. 


“It’s still not sitting right with me,” says my original caller after viewing this article. "There are still too many standing trees in Santa Rosa.” And too many “clean streets” from residential fires burning in reported high winds. This former Californian wonders if unknown government agents have been "keeping the wildfires going" so they can rebuild a much more densely populated north bay, Agenda 21-style, to go after resources beneath confiscated properties? 

We’re not seeing any signs of this, I responded. And these are wealthy neighbourhoods.

"I just don’t this are random acts any more,” my caller countered. "There’s something else behind the scenes here, I think."

California to ban fossil-fueled cars -photo by scpr


Back to part 1.


 发件人     William Thomas 2018