FACT CHECK: Were The Fires In Hawaii Caused By A ‘Direct Energy Assault?’
A video shared on Instagram purports recent fires in Hawaii were caused by a “direct energy assault on the people” using a laser beam.
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There is no evidence supporting the claim. It is currently unknown what caused the fires, according to CBS News.
Recent wildfires in Maui, Hawaii have killed at least 96 people, making them the deadliest wildfires in the U.S. in more than a century, according to Reuters. The wildfires broke out in Lahaina, the former capital of Hawaii, CBS News reported.
An unnamed individual who appears in the Instagram video purports recent fires in Hawaii were caused by a “direct energy assault on the people” using a laser beam. The individual also shows a picture of what he claims is a laser targeting the area. “Climate change the next chess move to gain more control & depopulate,” the video’s caption reads.
The claim is false, however. It is currently unknown what caused the fires, according to CBS News. Although the exact cause of the fires remains unknown, dry conditions are believed to have played a role in the blaze, according to Hawaii Army National Guard Commander General Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, the outlet reported.
“We don’t know what actually ignited the fires, but we were made aware in advance by the National Weather Service that we were in a red flag situation — so that’s dry conditions for a long time, so the fuel, the trees and everything, was dry,” Hara said.
Likewise, the photo included in the Instagram video can be traced back to a 2018 post shared on the website, “STEEMIT.” The post purports the photos show a meteor strike in Michigan.
A January 2018 article from The New York Times confirms a meteor did fall in Michigan at 8:10 p.m. local time. The meteor’s descent caused the equivalent of a 2.0-magnitude earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the outlet indicated.
In addition, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports supporting the claim. (RELATED: Viral Post Falsely Claims German Broadcast Station Showed Weather Map On Fire)
Check Your Fact has contacted the U.S. Geological Survey and the Hawaii Army National Guard for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.