CARB says wildfires contribute to global warming; fire closes I-5

| 10/24/2007

California’s state assembly acknowledged two years ago that emissions from vehicles and factories hurt nature.

Now, the state’s air quality agency says an act of God or nature is contributing to the globe’s declining health.

According to the California Air Resources Board, Southern California’s raging wildfires are creating an estimated 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and 200,000 tons of methane and nitrous oxide.

The emissions created by the wildfires equal what 440,000 cars would emit in a single year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, quoting CARB Emissions Inventory Chief Richard Bode.

“In terms of global warming it is a sizable chunk,” Bode told the Chronicle. “But you have to remember that overall the state puts out about 470 million tons of gases ever year – so (the fires are) about a half a percent” of what California contributes to global warming.

In addition to the long-term impact of the fires, their short-term effects are plenty.

The Associated Press has reported that 824,000 people have evacuated their homes since the fires broke out and destroyed at least 1,300 buildings. Preliminary reports indicate that the cost of the fires is about $1 billion so far.

As of Wednesday morning, Oct. 24, Interstate 5 southbound has been reopened after being shut down for several hours at Camp Pendleton due to encroaching fires.

If you’re hauling in the area of the fires, XM Satellite Radio provides weather and road condition reports for the San Diego area on Channel 223 and 247.