WASHINGTON (CBSLA) – Federal authorities say the recent Camp and Woolsey fires have produced emissions equivalent to roughly 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
According to data analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 2018 wildfire season in California is estimated to have released emissions equivalent to roughly 68 million tons of carbon dioxide, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Friday.
That number is equivalent to roughly 15 percent of all California emissions, and is on par with the annual emissions produced by generating enough electricity to power the entire state for a year, Zinke said.
Emissions produced by California’s electricity was roughly 76 million during the entire year of 2016, according to data provided by the California Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory.
Zinke visited Malibu and Paradise, Calif., in the days following the devastating Woolsey and Camp wildfires. His visit came on the heels of pointed criticism from Trump in which he alleged California officials were at fault for not doing enough to prevent the plethora of large wildfires which have ravaged the state in recent years.
In his statement Friday, Zinke reiterated Trump’s criticism and called for specific steps to prevent even more devastating wildfires.
“There’s too much dead and dying timber in the forest, which fuels these catastrophic fires,” Zinke said. “Proper management of our forests, to include small prescribed burns, mechanical thinning, and other techniques, will improve forest health and reduce the risk of wildfires, while also helping curb the carbon emissions.”
A tweet on Nov. 10 by the president used similar language and blamed “gross mismanagement of the forests” for the deadly wildfires ripping through California.
The Camp Fire in Northern California was the state’s ‘s deadliest and most destructive wildfire — it took out the town of Paradise and killed at least 88 people.