loop of wildfires starting, from satellite view

GesaSaint/reddit

Meteorologist explains that conspiratorial TikTok claiming Canadian wildfires all started at once

‘Clearly our governments are targeting us with Directed Energy Weapons.’

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

A Canada wildfire conspiracy is afoot, as theorists are citing satellite footage as proof that the ongoing forest fires were started on purpose.

The more than 100 fires—which, according to federal Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair, have burned over 9.4 million acres so far—signal the worst start to fire season ever in Canada.

Experts have cited extreme temperatures and drought as the likely culprit for the expansive wildfires. The warmer weather also leads to increased lightning, which caused fires that account for 85% of the destruction.

Yet the fires are being seen by conspiracy theorists as anything but an act of nature. Instead, everything from antifa arsonists to government laser weapons have been blamed. One popular claim points to satellite imagery showing what conspiracy theorists say is evidence that all of the fires started at the same time.

Stew Peters, the notorious conspiracy theorist behind the widely debunked anti-vaccine film Died Suddenly, was one of the top promoters of the claim that “Directed Energy Weapons” were to blame.

“Watch ALL of SE Quebec catch on fire at the EXACT SAME TIME,” he tweeted. “Statistically impossible to happen by accident. Clearly our governments are targeting us with Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs).”

In response to President Joe Biden announcing that the U.S. would send aid to Canada, popular internet figure Kim Dotcom similarly cited the satellite imagery in a conspiratorial manner.

“Why did all the fires start at the same time? Climate change?” he asked.

The footage has been seen millions of times so far from countless tweets across the social media platform.

And while Canadian authorities are still investigating, experts say that a much simpler explanation than “Directed Energy Weapons” is likely to blame.

Speaking with the Daily Dot, Emmy Award-winning CBS Morning Meteorologist Katie Nickolaou explained what the footage circulating online could actually be showing.

“One possible meteorological explanation for them appearing to all pop up at once would be a storm system moved over the area and produced lightning over a period of several hours,” she said. “It’s possible that after the storms and rain moved out, the smoldering trees and grass that the lightning hit could have begun to burn more vigorously, then grew out of control, especially if the wind picked up behind the storms.”

In other words, scattered embers caused by lightning strikes throughout the area could have been hit with a large gust of wind, causing numerous fires to ignite at roughly the same time.

Such a simple explanation, however, is unlikely to change the minds of conspiracy theorists. Aside from laser weapons, everything from UFOs to government plans aimed at enacting climate change lockdowns were blamed.

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