FACT CHECK: Does Video Show Arsonist Causing A Wildfire In California?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on social media purportedly shows an arsonist causing a wildfire in California.

Verdict: False

The caption is inaccurate. This is a video showing a prescribed forestation effort.

Fact Check:

In the aftermath of the wildfires on Maui, the death toll has reached 115 making it the deadliest U.S. fire in a hundred years, USA Today reported. A relief fund for the people affected by the disaster was started by Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson and has reached $10 million.

The Twitter post purports a wildfire in California was started by an arsonist. The post shared a video of a man on a boat driving through the wetlands and lighting the brush on fire with a flamethrower.

The caption implies that it is not climate change that causes wildfires but rather arsonists, “More innovative Climate Change. Oh wait. It’s Arson again.”

The claim is inaccurate. There is no credible news report that this is arson. Check Your Fact researched the video and discovered that it first appeared on the  Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex Facebook page. This account is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). They shared the video with an explanation of the practice saying, “Regular fire in wetlands is vital to promote healthy habitat conditions for wildlife.”

The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection claims that Prescribed Fires are helpful to reduce the risk of wildfires. They write, “The planned and controlled application of fire to the land under specified conditions, to reduce vegetation and risk from wildfire.” (RELATED: IS Robert J. O’Neill The Navy Seal Who Killed Osama Bin Laden?)

This is not the first time misinformation regarding this year’s hurricane season has been shared online. Check Your Fact debunked a photo allegedly showing a flood inside an apartment complex during Hurricane Hilary.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter