FACT CHECK: Viral X Video Shows 2018 Fire In California, Not Recent Maui Wildfires
A viral video shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports to show the recent wildfires in Maui.
Please help make it make sense…… pic.twitter.com/DCR6GcVOGM
— Concerned Citizen (@BGatesIsaPyscho) August 14, 2023
The video shows damage from a 2018 fire in Paradise, California, that was photographed using both a helicopter and drones.
The death toll from recent wildfires that struck Maui, Hawaii has reached 111, according to CNN. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Maui, with residents heavily criticizing his initial response of “no comment” to the wildfires, The New York Post reported.
The X video, viewed over one million times, purports to show the recent wildfires in Hawaii. Included in the video are photos of what appears to be damage resulting from the wildfires. “Hawaii. Please help make it make sense,” the video’s caption reads.
The claim is false, however. The video shows damage from a 2018 fire in Paradise, California, that was photographed using both a helicopter and drones. A photo matching the scene of the X video was taken via a helicopter and published as part of a slideshow in the Chico Enterprise-Record in December 2018. The photo is the eighteenth shot in the slideshow.
Likewise, the damage resulting from the 2018 fire in Paradise, California was also photographed with drones. Both CNN and Wildfire Today shared media of the damage the drones had captured. In addition, Wildfire Today indicated a group of mapping and drone experts photographed the damage and placed the photos into a map format, which made it possible for residents to check on the status of their homes.
The article also included a video from Dr. Gregory Crutsinger, who worked on the drone and mapping project, explaining the technical details behind the endeavor. (RELATED: X Video Shows 2022 Fire In Cleveland, Not 2023 Maui Wildfires)
Furthermore, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports about the recent Maui wildfires that referenced the viral X video in any way. Hawaii Democratic Gov. Josh Green also has not included the video in any recent communications he’s released concerning the Maui wildfires.
Check Your Fact has contacted the Paradise, California Fire Department and Crutsinger for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.