Wherever there’s misinformation about the West Coast wildfires, a popular firefighter is on TikTok working to debunk it.
A 27-year-old firefighter stationed in Oahu, Hawaii is a veritable TikTok superstar. He’s been at the job for three years, and plans to stick to it for the rest of his life, he tells BuzzFeed News. His name is Michael Clark, and he’s ready to fight fires for the long haul.
But there’s something that bothers him: conspiracy theories about the wildfires plaguing California and beyond. Some have suggested that the fires were set by powerful lasers. Others insist that political groups or factions are responsible. People have suggested a litany of bizarre theories, in fact.
Clark put his foot down to help clear the air, so to speak. Sick of the conspiracy theories, he decided to take to TikTok to try and spread the truth.
This firefighter’s TikTok videos debunk crazy wildfire conspiracy theories
He replies to one conspiracy theorist about how the “fires know where to stop and start” as part of a duet. He even used to work at one of the locations where it’s purported that a biohazard sign was posted.
In another clip, he responds to a user who accuses him of covering up things in regard to her “theories.” He explains how prescribed burns proceed to burn brush and needles, etc. so that “big ass trees” can thrive. Further, he admits that yes, the fire department does use drones.
An increasingly frustrated Michael continues to appear on the platform as he tries to reply to conspiracy theorists. One individual claimed that “fires just stop” across country lines.
Misinformation can spread (like wildfire) on TikTok, so Clark is doing his part to keep it at a minimum. As a result, perhaps more viewers will stop questioning “the lies” when the truth is right there in front of them.
[H/T: BuzzFeed News]