The PJ Tatler

Is John McCain right about illegal aliens or smugglers starting Arizona wildfires?

Sen. John McCain ignited controversy when he suggested that Arizona’s wildfires may originate in our failed border security:

The usual liberal suspects, notably the Puffington Host, predictably mocked McCain’s claim without examining the possibility that he might be right. But now, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever is backing McCain up.

Dever told reporters the Monument Fire was “man-caused” and started in an area near the border fence with Mexico, which is closed to visitors and known to law enforcement for “high-intensity, drug- and human-trafficking.”

“It wasn’t the rabbits or the rattle snakes that started this fire, it was human beings, and the only human beings believed to be occupying (the area) were smugglers,” Dever told a news conference.

He said traffickers light fires to use as signals, to keep themselves warm and as diversions “to keep … law enforcement off their backs.” He added that the Horseshoe 2 Fire was likely sparked in the same way.

It’s not proof, but circumstantially, it makes sense. The fires have forced about 11,000 people to evacuate, and have damaged or destroyed dozens of homes.