America is On Fire: Is ANTIFA to Blame?

America is On Fire: Is ANTIFA to Blame?

America is On Fire: Is ANTIFA to Blame?

There is much speculation about what’s causing the wildfires in the American West. According to CA Governor Gavin Newsom and his cronies in the Democrat Party, climate change is to blame. As Tucker Carlson points out in yet another epic monologue, the push to blame climate change, of course, is really a push to blame middle class white people. It’s your fault there are fires in the West, because you didn’t buy into the climate change narrative.

Others point out that the systemic management of forests and ending of preventive measures is a huge contributor to the carnage in the West. Wildfire experts — actual wildfire experts, not the Leftist “leave the forests alone” kind — have been trying to sound the alarm about how the wildlands are being torn apart by disease, insects, and overgrowth, leaving them vulnerable to the kind of super-hot, super destructive fires that are being seen this year.

Add in the dry conditions, hot temperatures, and a once-in-a-lifetime wind storm, and you have the perfect conditions for nearly literal hell on earth.

There are other rumblings, too, however; namely, that ANTIFA is behind at least some of the fires. After spending so much time burning down businesses and government buildings in cities across the country, the reasoning goes, it only stands to reason that eventually they would figure out that the best way to 1) deplete resources of both the government and the average citizen who opposes them, and 2) destroy homes of the white people they claim to hate so much, is to start setting massive, fast-spreading wildfires. Never mind, of course, that many of the people wreaking ANTIFA havoc are white themselves.

It’s easy to fall into one camp or another, arguing that since one or two of the conclusions are true, all others must be false. Logical analysis, however, dictates that truth is where the evidence is — and sometimes, conclusions aren’t mutually exclusive.

Breaking It Down

There’s really no argument that forest management practices in California, Oregon, and Washington are abysmal, at least among people who understand such things. Even here in Montana, the undergrowth is staggering and beetles are killing trees at an alarming rate. In terms of wildfire contribution, it’s a fair assumption that forest management is partly to blame. The weather conditions also play a part. But are they the only contributors?

Before we start throwing around the word “arson,” let’s make sure we’re all working with the same definition. The National Fire Protection Association defines arson as being an intentionally set fire with two additional criteria:

(a) to some extent, the
firesetter intended not only the fire but the harm caused by the fire, and

(b) by applicable
legal standards, the firesetter was capable of forming a criminal intent.

That sets arson apart from the basic definition of an intentional fire, of which there are plenty of legal varieties.

It’s important to also look at the arson rates over the last few years. What’s an average year look like in California, Oregon, and Washington? According to the California DOJ, the numbers were up 20% in 2018 after their historic record low in 2011. What else was ramping up in the last six years? ANTIFA. Now, correlation doesn’t equal causation, contrary to what the Left likes to say, so let’s keep digging.

Are Humans Setting These Fires?

Here is literally just a sampling of what’s going on in the West. These stories aren’t being reported as national news in many cases; you have to dig for them in local news pages, or even in as the info gets scrubbed lest anyone add two plus two and get four.

Jackson County, Oregon: Michael Jarrod Bakkela is charged with multiple counts of reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and first degree arson for allegedly setting a fire that has now merged with the Almeda Fire in Oregon. Oddly enough, not only has any social media of his been scrubbed out but any past criminal history is now gone from public records; in fact, a standard public records search on a basic paid service doesn’t even pull him up, instead showing you some guy in Kenosha, WI with the same name but different age. I’m sure he is thrilled.

Multnomah County, Oregon: County sheriffs posted on Twitter some photos of a fire investigation scene where they responded to a “small brush fire.” They found fireworks, placed in a tight group, 100-150 yards off the road in the forest.

Manti-Sal National Forest, Utah: US Forest Service found 14 new arson hotspots. Thankfully, no new fires started as a result.

Spokane, WA: A woman was arrested after allegedly starting multiple fires in Spokane on Monday. One was a pallet on fire outside a commercial business and another was next to an oil drum under a tree.

Dexter, Oregon: Police are on the lookout for a man attempting to start a fire in the state park, on one of the few travel corridors in Oregon NOT currently impacted by fires.

Puyallup, WA: Man arrested for allegedly starting a fire in the median of Hwy 167.

Eugene, OR: Man arrested for allegedly setting the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire.

Salinas, CA: A woman is arrested for setting multiple fires along Highway 101. The sheriff made a point of telling everyone that she was not ANTIFA.

We the Governed asks: Who is setting these fires?

The stories go on and on. If you look for them, you can find them. In some cases you have to just look at the individual counties involved and check their inmate listings or new mugshots, such as in this case.

Is arson suddenly the crime do jour for petty criminals and would-be felons? Is it somehow the new fad for dirtbags with nothing to do? Or is something far more organized occurring?

It’s important to point out that whether ANTIFA is trying to have a hand in these fires or not, that doesn’t negate the weather conditions, wind storms, downed power lines, and other ‘acts of God’ that are part and parcel of the ruckus that 2020 has been. In other words, there’s no denying that the conditions are playing a massive role.

There is also, however, something to be said for the seemingly organized efforts, in which people all over the west are getting caught — and in some cases, not getting caught — lighting fires. In many cases their efforts are unsuccessful, not all of them, unfortunately, are failing. Several of the wildfires currently burning are considered arson.

Squashing the Questions


Something I’m finding extremely interesting is how much time and effort is being put into “debunking rumors” of ANTIFA involvement.

Let’s take a closer look at those.

From the FBI office in Portland:

“FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon. With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue. Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control.”

Let’s first note that the very phrase “conspiracy theory” was coined by the CIA decades ago to discredit people who were attempting to expose them for things they were in actuality doing, which are now common knowledge. So right off the bat, the FBI is attempting to discredit anyone who even asks the question, and using a shady CIA tactic to do it.

Secondly, look very closely at that second sentence. The message is clear: If you ask questions, you’re taking resources from fire and police. If you are questioning what we are telling you, then it is your fault the fires keep burning. It’s the same type of messaging Tucker Carlson spoke about in his monologue, the same tactic over and over. If you are not believing what we say and complying as a result, what is happening is your fault.

From the Douglas County Sheriff:

Remember when we said to follow official sources only. Remember when we said rumors make this already difficult incident even harder? Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON.

THIS IS NOT TRUE! Unfortunately, people are spreading this rumor and it is causing problems.

Do your part, STOP. SPREADING. RUMORS! Follow official sources of information such as local emergency response websites and pages, government websites and pages and local reputable news outlets.

Please, share far and wide!

You are causing problems. Only listen to official sources.  Note that they aren’t saying ANTIFA didn’t start any fires — merely that they didn’t arrest six ANTIFA members for doing it. Subtle, but important difference.

Certainly people should be using critical thinking and analysis skills. They should be collecting information from as many credible sources as they can, and distilling that down to actionable intelligence.

And not all sources are credible. There’s a screenshot from an Oregon community page making the rounds on Facebook right now where the poster claims to have caught someone on their property with only a book of matches. She then claims she held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Should this be taken at face value with no other corroboration? Absolutely not, especially considering she uses language suggesting that a) she knew the person before this event and b) they had a positive relationship even during said incident. People should absolutely be doing their due diligence on any and all information floating around.

For officials, however, to make the blanket statement that ANY non-official source should not be listened to, especially when you can view the information with your own eyes…that’s Baghdad Bob-level idiocy.

Another video on Facebook from a firefighter calls into question the ANTIFA angle as well.

“Antifa is not running through the woods. Those guys don’t even want to leave their skateboards. We got fires starting 30 miles out in the woods, and you want to blame Boogaloo and Antifa.”

I doubt that anyone, even those who do believe Antifa is starting fires, believes that they’re somehow airdropping or hiking 30 miles into the backcountry to commit arson. Again, however, one cause being true does not automatically negate the other cause from also contributing. There are plenty of links above showing you that fires aren’t just being started 30 miles out, and they’re not all lightning either. It’s quite apparent that multiple human beings are taking advantage of the conditions to literally pile on to what nature already started.

Some argue that it’s the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, or another conservative group. That doesn’t make sense from a logical perspective; none of those groups are known for starting fires, and to do so does not further their goals. It does, however, further ANTIFA’s, and they’ve been starting fires all over the country for months in American cities, causing millions in property damage and unlimited amounts in economic and societal damage.

Is there enough evidence to say, with definitive confidence, that ANTIFA is out there starting wildfires too? No, of course not, and anyone saying it is a proven thing is lying. We need more data. However, there are some real questions that need to be asked.

a) Why do many of these arrestees no longer have social media or information on public record sites?

b) Why are there suddenly so many arson cases just in the last 3 weeks?

c) Who are these people? Do they have criminal records?

d) Where is the money coming from for their activities?

e) What is actually burning? What neighborhoods? Who lives there?

f) Who benefits from the fires?

g) Why are so many of them being busted for drugs immediately prior to being arrested for arson?

The list of questions goes on as well. There are plenty more that need to be asked, researched, and the answers distilled.

This isn’t spreading rumors. It’s not causing problems. Asking the questions, vetting sources, digging into the truth, finding it, and making it known is what we are supposed to be doing. Anyone who tells you to only listen to “approved” sources, to not question what you’re told, to view anyone who questions as “bad” and “causing problems,” IS the problem.

Are the fires being caused by weather? Yes.

Are they being caused by lightning storms and downed power lines? Yes.

Are they being caused by humans as well? Yes.

The question is upon whose behalf are they acting?



Photo credit to Pixabay.

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1 Comment
  • Scott says:

    Great post Kit, you make many points that the media is ignoring. Unlike the left, we should not jump to conclusions, but actively search for facts on what’s causing these fires.

    The only part of the post that I’ll take exception to is your citation from the NFPA. While their definition has merit, going to state statutes on the subject would be more relevant to the discussion, and in this case, conflict somewhat with some of your other statements (though not the validity of the subject, which is criminal intent in setting these fires). The reality is that criminal intent is not required for a charge of arson (in varying degrees, and depending on the state) As an example, I’ll post from the Colorado Revised Statutes on 4th degree arson:

    (1) A person who knowingly or recklessly starts or maintains a fire or causes an explosion, on his own property or that of another, and by so doing places another in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage commits fourth degree arson.

    (2) Fourth degree arson is a class 4 felony if a person is thus endangered.

    (3) Fourth degree arson is a class 2 misdemeanor if only property is thus endangered and the value of the property is one hundred dollars or more.

    (4) Fourth degree arson is a class 3 misdemeanor if only property is thus endangered and the value of the property is less than one hundred dollars.

    (5) It shall not be an arson offense pursuant to this section if:

    (a) A person starts and maintains a fire as a controlled agricultural burn in a reasonably cautious manner;  and

    (b) No person suffers any of the following as a result of the fire:

    (I) Bodily injury;

    (II) Serious bodily injury;  or

    (III) Death.

    (6) For purposes of this section, “controlled agricultural burn” means a technique used in farming to clear the land of any existing crop residue, kill weeds and weed seeds, or reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of a future fire.

    As you can see there, the fact that you knowingly or recklessly started the fire means that you are responsible for all the downstream effects of that fire, as well as being guilty of the crime of arson. Intent to cause harm, or serious injury / death can elevate the crime to 3rd-1st degree arson. All of this can be found in the criminal statutes of whichever state you care to check.

    Sorry for the long post, put as a firefighter, and a former fire investigator, I’m kinda picky on accuracy on this subject.

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