Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Wildfire For Parts of the Western US: Who Has the Best Numbers?

TSW Readers: I seem to remember a discussion here or on Climate Twitter or somewhere that the CARB numbers were wrong. I think it was in a discussion of R-5 using those numbers in a powerpoint..  Does anyone remember whether there are better numbers on wildfire emissions in various states/years?

Thanks!  The below is from a Bloomsberg Law article.

California’s 2020 Wildfire Emissions Akin to 24 Million Cars

Jan. 5, 2021, 11:03 AM

California’s 2020 wildfire season thwarted the state’s fight against climate change, spewing enough carbon dioxide into the air to equal the emissions of millions of passenger vehicles driving over the course of a year.

Those roughly 9,600 fires burned nearly 4.2 million acres, killed 31 people, and emitted an estimated 112 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to a California Air Resources Board report released Dec. 31. The number is akin to the greenhouse gas emissions of 24.2 million passenger cars driving in a single year, according to a calculator from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

And the emissions figure is expected to increase as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection calculates final wildfire acreage from the end of the year. An update should be released in March or April, said Dave Edwards, assistant division chief in the Air Board’s air quality, planning, and science division.

Increasing fire intensity and the health dangers of the accompanying smoke is California’s new reality and needs to be faced now, advocates and politicians say.

“We’re always going to have fire in California and, with climate change, we’re going to have more,” said Bill Magavern, policy director for Coalition for Clean Air. “We shouldn’t treat it like this is something that’s going to happen once in a while.”

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