Skip to content

Biden Cancels Inconvenient Historical Wildfire Data

May 4, 2021

By Paul Homewood


For many years, the National Interagency Fire Center, a US Federal Agency, has published statistics on wildfires, including data on the number and acreage of fires each year since 1926 (highlighted):







Inconveniently the data showed that wildfires used to be much worse in the past. It is true that early data may not have been as accurate as today’s, which benefits from satellite images, aircraft monitoring and computer analysis. Nevertheless, that historical data was broadly accurate, and certainly would not be out by a factor of five and more.

Bjorn Lomborg has researched this matter in detail, and confirms that the early data corresponds with that used in official reports at the time, as well as contemporary accounts.

Moreover, Obama’s own USDA published a report in 2011, which used this exact same data, and commented that wildfire acreage was greater than now between 1925 and 1960:







Apparently Biden’s administration now finds the truth so embarrassing that it has decided to bury it. Now, the link to the NIFC comes up with this:



When you click on the “Wildfires and Acres” box, you get this: 





Fortunately we can still access the old data via Wayback.

It is highly ironic that the White House casually revokes older data which contradicts its climate agenda, but is more than happy to use historical temperature data which over time has been corrupted with UHI!

  1. Thjomas Carr permalink
    May 4, 2021 11:23 am

    I look forward to what other commentators say is the practical effect of revoking while the facts remain in plain sight.

  2. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 4, 2021 11:25 am

    Remember the panic stories about Trump destroying the climate data. e.g.

    Always the same story with the left/libs; what they accuse you of, they are doing themselves.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      May 4, 2021 11:47 am

      Its not a ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ thing; it’s a ‘Left’ & ‘Right’ & ‘Center’ political stupidity thing!!
      Most people on all political sides will vote for what they are told “sounds” and “feels” right by the propaganda they follow … & the AGW propagandists are making all the running.

      They control – the media, the language, the purse strings & education;
      with that lot under their belts, why should they worry about actual physics & data results ? … these are easily manipulated for sheeple consumption (who are slow to process facts but quick to jump to conclusions & prefer to follow con-sensus therefore absolving themselves of any blame).

      The AGW propagandists got it right early on, with the ‘never debate a skeptic’ policy.

      We skeptics naively thought that facts & logic would prevail (how dumb was that ! ) so we now have to wait for nature to take its course whilst society dismantles itself, yet again, returning to another dark age. (Another great reset & it wont be pleasant for the peasants )

      For a highly developed intelligent creature … we are remarkably dumb.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        May 4, 2021 1:00 pm

        I think you’ve gone off on a bit of an unrelated rant, but I disagree with your rejection of my main point.

        Gross hypocrisy/double standards is chiefly a feature of the left. Racism, intolerance, hate……. The worst offenders are the ones that point the fingers and scream the loudest – left/libs. Of course it is a generalization.

        The media etc. is left biased/controlled, likewise school, academia, science institutions…….. on and on. That’s not news!

        Nobody that seriously claims to support Conservative/traditional center moderate right wing views could support AGW. Just as they have RINOs in the USA we have CINO in the UK now. Anyone supporting the AGW agenda is supporting global socialism and the end of a free economy as a matter of fact, ergo they are not truly Conservatives.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        May 4, 2021 1:10 pm

        I have to wholeheartedly concur with your view. It never ceases to amaze me how these people have incredible levels of control. Take for example all the pure BS around heat pumps. Government agencies happily quote CoP (coefficient of performance) levels of air source heat pumps as 3. So allegedly for every unit of electricity in you get 3 units of heat out…hey presto.
        Everyone falls for it and you are not allowed to debate the fact that it is completely wrong. Where the figure of 3 comes from is an EU standard test (remember VW) which give a CoP figure ASSUMING outside air temperature of 7°C (that’s PLUS 7) and an inside water circulation water temperature of just 35°C.
        So you have to have ginormous radiators, it mustn’t be cold outside and you have to run an electric immersion heater to have a bath! A near neighbour not on the gas main recently switched from oil heating to an ASHP despite my warning him of the consequences. This first winter saw his overall energy bills almost quadruple and yet he still perversely feels he has “done his bit”.

      • May 4, 2021 1:43 pm

        Nazi’s censored, Soviets censored, McCarthyites censored
        We skeptics always want free & fair debate,
        greens developed a policy of running away from it.
        So I was surprised at TalkRadio Sunday 7:45am
        Oxford Philosopher Prof Jeff McMahan
        has founded The Journal of Controversial Ideas @JConIdeas

        “I’m a *lefty*, in the past the threat to freedom of expression came from the RIGHT
        eg #1 Fundamentalist Christians
        … and #2 Opponents of Climate Science etc.”

        WTF ? I wonder if the mag is a Trojan Horse

        He did a Quilette podcast as well

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        May 4, 2021 4:00 pm

        If it’s not a Left thing how come all the “solutions” are all Left-wing solutions? How come the most extreme views are always held by those on the Left?

      • Duker permalink
        May 4, 2021 8:46 pm

        “Everyone falls for it [heat pumps]and you are not allowed to debate the fact that it is completely wrong.”
        I have 2 heat pumps and its true, I can see both from daily useage ( my meter tracks half hour usage) and even by personally reading the meters instantaneous values while heat pump is running compared to standard electric heaters. I cant speak of ‘radiators’ as thats a secondary heat circulation system ‘after’ heating. I personally dont think converting from gas hot water system for whole house to ‘reverse cycle’ is worthwhile , but I would change an electric stored hot water system to heat pump cylinder

      • May 4, 2021 9:21 pm

        We are not comparing heat pumps with electric heaters, but with gas, which costs a fifth of electricity and which is what the vast majority of homes here have

      • Duker permalink
        May 5, 2021 5:05 am

        I would agree on gas hot water heating , but thats not what hes claiming , its the CoP is 3 and thats correct. 3 times the heat for the electricity used. If Ray he wants to say gas heating is better , he should stick to that as of course gas prices are considerably cheaper per kWh.
        Where I live, we sometimes see British migrants putting in hot water radiators when the climate means they would only be used regularly for 2-3 months only. And usually not needed 24/7 at that.

  3. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    May 4, 2021 11:37 am

    This is appalling, if not surprising. The same thing has happened in Australia with their bushfires. I filmed the aftermath of the 1983 fires and talked to the survivors involved. The recent fires may have been more costly – more buildings destroyed – but the extent was not as great, and historically, they were worse earlier in the 20th Century. But that does not fit the prevailing “truth”, so it gets hidden or ignored. Such is the state of our public discourse…

  4. May 4, 2021 11:45 am He who controls the past controls the future

  5. May 4, 2021 11:47 am

    Paul the data man strikes again.

    Advice to climatistas: beware the accountants.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      May 4, 2021 12:06 pm

      I’d say that Paul does real science: knowledge, investigation and explanations while “Climate-scientists” are now political scientists with little interest in debating their unfounded opinions (as ISaveEnergy noted above, they do not need to).

  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 4, 2021 12:11 pm

    He who controls the past controls the future…

  7. Cheshire Red permalink
    May 4, 2021 12:15 pm

    When the facts or evidence don’t match your agenda….just change the facts! This has been standard left-wing practice for decades.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 4, 2021 12:48 pm

    Did not track wildfires using current reporting processes…

    So, it will interesting to see if the ‘high’ temps and ‘excessive’ storms of the previous century were reported using processes that are ‘currently’ in use today – and if not then they should be considered invalid.

  9. Broadlands permalink
    May 4, 2021 1:01 pm

    Figure 16-1 does not seem to correlate very well with AGW CO2. In the US, the 1920s and 1930s were very warm decades. 1921 and 1934 were the two warmest years on record until NOAA lowered (canceled?) them to make 2012 the warmest.

    • AC Osborn permalink
      May 5, 2021 9:20 am

      Fires do not correlate with heat.
      But with dryness, fuel store and number of arsonists.

  10. Sheri permalink
    May 4, 2021 1:05 pm

    While this does make for a great rant, the page in question was never accurate anyway. I had to stop using the reference on my blog because I had commenters point out that the numbers I quoted were not what they were finding on the site. Seems different pages of the site had different statistics and which page one used mattered a great deal. It’s not a real loss.

    • May 4, 2021 4:17 pm

      Most old climate data is substandard, but that is no excuse to “cancel” it, just because it is inconvenient.

      • Sheri permalink
        May 4, 2021 4:41 pm

        Substandard? Is that another word for “totally inaccurate”? The pages had conflicting data. I don’t know about you, but I find conflicting data problematic…..I’m on your side in this, but not if the data is bad. It’s not inconvenient, it’s wrong.

        If the WayBack machine has the data or I have a hard copy, I will post the link on the problem. We are not talking “inconvenient”, we’re talking totally different and no explanation as to why. I understand that unless I can find the backups, it’s just my word.

    • May 4, 2021 5:20 pm

      The claim that the eearly data is not officially sourced is also a lie. It was all laid out in great detail by the US Dept of Commerce in 1970 here: (P554).

      The numbers there are exactly the same as the ones “cancelled”, so mI don’t understand your point about accuracy

      Click to access hstat1970_cen_1975_v1.pdf

  11. Mack permalink
    May 4, 2021 1:17 pm

    It is the academic equivalent of ‘book burning’. Evidence that is inconvenient to the current narrative is hidden, removed, censored, ridiculed or adjusted to death. And the MSM and much of social media are completely complicit in this shameful perversion of science. It’s a slippery slope that could have been masterminded by Joesef Goebells himself:

    ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can only be maintained for such time as the state can shield the people from the…consequences of the lie. It thus seems vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie and thus by extension the truth is the greatest enemy of the state’.

  12. Cheshire Red permalink
    May 4, 2021 1:28 pm

    O/T, following the BBC corrupted piece the other day, here’s another puff piece about ‘rising sea levels’.

    Statistics X
    Rate of sea level rise X
    Evidence of increasing sea level rise rates X
    Evidence of any detrimental issues at all X

    Total propaganda.

    • May 4, 2021 1:48 pm

      @Cheshire the more the merrier
      @MrGrimNasty already mentioned it & posted a long comment in the Victoria Falls thread
      which starts “When did naive brainwashed 17yo kids get to be judge and jury
      and when did democracy get a say in the UN’s goals (essentially governing us) anyway?“

  13. Broadlands permalink
    May 4, 2021 1:32 pm

    A simple truth inadvertently added to the 2010 report?

    “Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels result in increased forest growth assuming sufficient nutrients and water are available, resulting in more carbon being stored in woody biomass.”

    What caused this rise in carbon dioxide levels to make the forests greener? Biofuels from woody biomass?

  14. May 4, 2021 1:54 pm

    Since we have experts here
    Qn : If we plant 10 trees in the UK how much CO2 do we end up sequestrating in the real world ?
    eg I suppose 1/4 of seedlings don’t make it
    I suppose a lot of trunks end up cut down after 40 years not a hundred.
    Does all the tree’s carbon come from the air or does some come from the soil via roots etc.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 4, 2021 2:28 pm

      I can see all this tree planting turning into a disaster simply because it is being done based on a stupid idea. If you make it worthwhile for farmers to plant trees with subsidy how long before the eco-loons are bleating about the loss of farmland birds? And it you don’t manage the woodland you won’t get much diversity there. And with electricity prices always rising, I suspect that the price paid for biomass will also rise so how long before we see swathes of monoculture trees grown for biomass such as eucalyptus?

    • Mack permalink
      May 4, 2021 2:54 pm

      Stew, you won’t be surprised to learn that the science of co2 sequestration in forests is not as well advanced as many alarmists would have you believe. A typical claim is that one tree living between 50-100 years may sequester 0.25+ tonnes of co2 in it’s lifetime but there are so many variables depending upon the species, weather and temperature, soil, placement and planting methods, disease, felling strategies etc etc as to make any finite calculations extremely complex. With good root stock, luck, kindly elements and proper management one would hope to limit initial sapling losses to 15% or less but a figure of 25% would not be uncommon. To complicate matters further it has been argued that some woodlands can actually respire more co2 than they sequester and some planting schemes are either extremely damaging to the environment or are bodged from the start. A recent case in point was the A14 extension in Cambridgeshire where of 1 million trees planted along the roadside the local council estimated that the vast majority died within the first year. No doubt murdered by ‘global heating’ rather than incompetence!

      • dennisambler permalink
        May 4, 2021 5:23 pm

        “To save the planet don’t plant trees”

        “Chemical reactions involving tree V.O.C.s produce methane and ozone, two powerful greenhouse gases, and form particles that can affect the condensation of clouds.

        Research by my group at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and by other laboratories, suggests that changes in tree V.O.C.s affect the climate on a scale similar to changes in the earth’s surface color and carbon storage capacity.

        While trees provide carbon storage, forestry is not a permanent solution because trees and soil also “breathe” — that is, burn oxygen and release carbon dioxide back into the air. Eventually, all of the carbon finds its way back into the atmosphere when trees die or burn.

        Moreover, it is a myth that photosynthesis controls the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

        Even if all photosynthesis on the planet were shut down, the atmosphere’s oxygen content would change by less than 1 percent.

        The Amazon rain forest is often perceived as the lungs of the planet. In fact, almost all the oxygen the Amazon produces during the day remains there and is reabsorbed by the forest at night.

        In other words, the Amazon rain forest is a closed system that uses all its own oxygen and carbon dioxide.”

        “Amazon River CO2 outgassing equals Rainforest sequestration”
        Evaluation of Primary Production in the Lower Amazon River Based on a Dissolved Oxygen Stable Isotopic Mass Balance

        “The Amazon River outgasses nearly an equivalent amount of CO2 as the rainforest sequesters on an annual basis due to microbial decomposition of terrigenous and aquatic organic matter.

        The Amazon River is a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere, but understanding the interplay between photosynthesis and respiration is critical for understanding the fundamental mechanisms driving these fluxes and the overall productivity of the ecosystem.”

      • Russ Wood permalink
        May 5, 2021 4:26 pm

        When South Africa widened its inter-provincial motorways, many of the roadside grass areas were planted with trees. I don’t know what type of tree they were, but maybe one in ten is still standing, looking, after 20 years, like a 2-year sapling. Main roads do NOT seem like a healthy environment for trees!

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 4, 2021 3:01 pm

      Stewgreen: It is not a matter of trees, sugar cane or algae soaking up CO2. It is a matter of the permanent CO2 storage to try and mitigate it. This is where biomass-bioenergy fails. Eventually the biomass dies and the sequestered CO2 is recycled. A process that has been taking place naturally for eons… unless the carbon is buried away from the oxygen it created…fossil fuels and biocarbonate limestones. That is why so much is being invested and subsidized in CCS technology. Another failing attempt simply because the amounts required to affect the Earth’s temperature are much too large to ever bury safely, if at all.

      • Sheri permalink
        May 4, 2021 4:47 pm

        I’m not a fan of CCS technology, but I was told that planting trees that are deciduous anywhere but the tropics is a waste. If the trees drop their leaves, it completely changes how much CO2 is sequestered. This why corporations buy up Costa Rican farms and turn them into forests.

    • May 7, 2021 5:03 pm

      Thank you all for the replies about planting trees as a magic way of reducing CO2.

  15. NeilC permalink
    May 4, 2021 1:56 pm

    I thought carbon dioxide put out fires so, rising CO2 will stop wild fires, no?

    You can get wild fires when it is hot and when it is cold, so nothing to do with temperature.

    Very low humidity causes wild fires, plus careless people discarding cigarette ends and not putting out BBQ’s and arsonists of course.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      May 4, 2021 4:06 pm

      And I’m m reasonably certain the curve of “likelihood” of a fire isn’t remotely linear. Once the fuel is dry enough, getting a bit drier doesn’t matter very much. In other words it’s a threshold problem. We had wildfires before because we crossed the threshold conditions.

  16. Penda100 permalink
    May 4, 2021 2:18 pm

    As George Orwell put it in 1984 “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. And, when it came to left wing and totalitarian organisations, he knew what he was talking about.

  17. Gerry, England permalink
    May 4, 2021 2:33 pm

    The only plus side is that these days of digital data it is easy to store stuff to save it from being destroyed by the communists.

    And when it comes to Dementia Joe, when you have stolen an election and got away with it -so far! – you think you can do anything. Although in saying that, his puppeteers probably haven’t told him about the election in case he blurts it out.

    • Duker permalink
      May 4, 2021 9:01 pm

      Enough of the stolen election… you do know that both Fox News and OANN have issued abject apologies about claims over rigged voting machines ( which in Georgia at least were paper ballot printers of the voters choices and were manually recounted).
      The health thing is just a repeat of the same nonsense of ‘very sick Hilary’ 4 years before. Biden is no less healthy that Trump – (remember his quick trip to hospital before covid and refusal to release full medical records) Trump had of course trouble with ‘slight ramps’ and steps, and once grabbing the arm of the even more elderly McConnell in Rose Garden

      • Phil O'Sophical permalink
        May 5, 2021 12:02 am

        Thanks. I needed a good laugh.

      • AC Osborn permalink
        May 5, 2021 9:30 am

        You sir are totally deluded.
        I am not sure why you are on this forum if you do not believe “data” which is what nasty climate deniers use all the time.
        Well the data is in on both Joe and the election, so why do you refuse to believe it?

  18. C Lynch permalink
    May 4, 2021 2:51 pm

    Keep up the good work Paul. When this fraud is finally rumbled, as it will be, records and facts contained in your blog and many others will be vital for skewering the weasel enablers in the media, education, academia and politics when they try to squirm out responsibility by claiming they couldn’t have known otherwise.

  19. markl permalink
    May 5, 2021 1:34 am

    The Marxist MO when history gets in the way of ideology is rewrite it or obliterate it. China’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution are forbidden topics but there are still some who lived through both while tens of millions of people either died of starvation or were killed for their political views.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: