The Rim Fire started August 17, 2013 in the Stanislaus National Forest by a hunter who had started an illegal fire that got out of control. The fire burned more than 257,000 acres, and is currently the fourth largest wildfire in California history. It burned 11 homes, 3 commercial buildings, and 98 outbuildings. Hot temperatures, severe drought, and a long-term program of fire suppression in California helped fuel this enormous, intense wildfire event. These types of wildfires are becoming more frequent in the western US. A consensus appears to be emerging between scientists and wildfire experts that these wildfires are becoming more intense because of several things: climate change fueling drought and higher temperatures, leading to drier conditions; encroachment of urban areas into wildlands (the Wildland-Urban-Interface – WUI – is expanding); and a years-long policy of fire suppression (particularly because of the expanding WUI and landowners wanting protection from fires). Fire suppression and recent climate swings have resulted in a lot of overgrowth in the forests in the region.
There were a few issues surrounding this event that are worth exploring because they are relevant to other disaster events. One of the issues involved the spreading of false rumors over social media: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/27/rim-fire-california-social-media-avoid
Decades of fire suppression and lack of funding for forest management has created regions that are overgrown, fueling faster spread of fires: https://www.livescience.com/39408-how-rim-fire-grew-big.html
For this EOTW, read the two articles linked above and answer the following questions:
1) Why did the fire grow extremely rapidly in the Stanislaus National Forest, but in Yosemite National Park the fire did not grow or spread nearly as fast?
2) Do a quick search on google and find another disaster event that involved social media – briefly describe whether social media was a good source of information or was involved in spreading fear through untrue reporting.