Reach widened by Canada’s record wildfire season

Canada’s record wildfire season continues to escalate at a staggering rate. As of July 12, the fires had consumed nearly 10 million hectares (100,000 km2), a combined area that far exceeds the province of New Brunswick (72,908 km2) or, for an American comparison, the state of Maine (79,883 km2). With more than two months left in the country’s wildfire season, the area burned has already surpassed the 1989 wildfire season, the previous worst on record, when 7.5 million hectares burned. were consumed by the flames.

Estimated cumulative number of hectares burned in forest fires, in targeted areas detected by satellites, data updated as of July 12.

As of July 5, there were 432 active fires in Canada, 80 of which were considered out of control. Campfires have been banned in the province of British Columbia since Monday, when fires broke out in the central Cariboo region.

The fires have been raging across the country since early May, about two months before the usual start of the wildfire season. Unusually dry weather sparked fires in Nova Scotia in late May, destroying several rural suburbs of Halifax. Firefighters from around the world have been mobilized to battle the blazes, along with members of the Canadian Armed Forces, including those that erupted across Alberta in early June, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.

The 2023 wildfire season, which is expected to continue to rage from Quebec to British Columbia and across the typically mild north of the country, is fueled by the impacts of capitalism-induced climate change. These consequences include extremely high temperatures and drier than average conditions, which create favorable conditions for lightning to start more fires and make it easier for anthropogenic fires to spread out of control.

Adele Matthews

"Passionate pop cultureaholic. Proud bacon trailblazer. Avid analyst. Certified reader."

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