Rumor, innuendo, and conspiracy theories spread on the internet like wildfire. And the latest have to do with the real life wildfires that are decimating California and other areas of the West Coast. As the fires rage unchecked, posts have lit up social media that accuse Antifa, the well-known far left anarchist group, of setting them.
The FBI said it has investigated several such claims as have fire officials in Oregon and Washington.
While most of these unsubstantiated claims blamed far-left Antifa activists, there were fewer, but additional claims, that the far-right group, the Proud Boys, was responsible for fires, which have killed at least 24 people across Oregon, Washington and California.
Fire officials and the FBI have said all such claims are untrue. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office urged Washington residents to stop spreading rumors, as isolated incidents of apparent arson led to widespread, unfounded claims that Antifa agitators were conspiring to start fires along the West Coast.
“Though some agencies have made arrests related to arson recently, they appear to all be separate individuals, however as with many incidents, it will be an ongoing investigation in each jurisdiction,” the agency wrote on Facebook.
The FBI said it worked with local authorities to investigate claims that extremists set the wildfires, and also found them to be false.
While some arson arrests have been made, it is not yet clear how all the scores of wildfires setting the West Coast of the US ablaze, started.
The scientific community believes that changes in weather patterns due to global warming have created conditions that have caused the forests of the West Coast to be a tinder box. Meanwhile, President Trump has gone on record as saying that the fires are mostly due to “poor land management practices” engaged in by the areas Democratic governors.
What do you think is causing the California wildfires? Global warming, poor land management by Democratic governors, or deliberate arson by Antifa or other domestic extremists? Reply using the comments below.