This video has circulated online since December 2017 in reports about a fire in California
A video of a fire has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim it shows wildfires burning in the US state of California in September 2020. The claim is misleading; this video has circulated online since December 2017 in reports about a wildfire in Los Angeles.
The video has been viewed more than 251,000 times after it was published here on Facebook on September 17, 2020.
The 45-second video, which appears to have been filmed inside a moving vehicle on a highway, shows a raging fire in the distance.
The post’s Thai-language caption translates to English as: “The last few days in California, the forest fires are very scary. It's like driving a car into a giant fire. Global warming is a big problem that will hurt people.”
West Coast states in the US have seen record-breaking fires in 2020, burning through almost five million acres as of September 14, 2020. Here is an AFP report on the wildfires.
The claim is misleading.
A combined reverse image and keyword search on Google found the same video published here on the website of US television network ABC News on December 7, 2017.
The report is headlined: “Dramatic images of LA fire looming over the 405 Freeway during morning commute”, and reads, in part: “The latest wildfire in Southern California broke out in Los Angeles County overnight near the Getty Center and the 405 Freeway -- a shocking sight for early morning commuters.”
Using a road sign seen in the video in the misleading post, AFP located the highway here on Google Maps.
Below is a screenshot comparison of a keyframe in the video (L) and the highway on Google Street View (R) :