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Wildfire season has returned to North America with deadly force as 28 fires continue to rage across in Alberta, Canada and have burned more than 700,000 acres of land while forcing over 11,000 people to evacuate. The fires have been burning since the end of May and despite military aid and fire fighting efforts, dry conditions in parts of Alberta continue to fuel the fires.
More than 2,300 firefighters have responded to the growing fires, using 228 helicopters and 28 air tankers in the firefight.
The smoke is so bad from this fire that it reached parts of the U.S. Southwest on Monday:
Does it seem a bit hazy out today? That's because smoke from wildfires burning in Alberta, Canada, has spread southeast across much of the eastern United States. The smoke shows up nicely on GOES-E satellite imagery. #chswx#gawx#scwx#savwxpic.twitter.com/BEVf7Jotjt
Despite Evidence Link Climate Change to Wildfires, Alberta’s Premier Might Not Be Convinced: As Global News Canada reported, Premier Jason Kenney found himself answering questions Friday about his government’s decision to kill the carbon tax the day prior. Asked whether the wildfires can be linked to climate change, Kenney said: “I think the reason for any particular forest fire is often complex.” An academic study released by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) earlier this year concluded that climate change is a major driver of wildfires.
Why This Matters: An average of about 2.5 million hectares of land is charred every year during Canada’s annual wildfire season–twice the size of what burned in the 1970s (the same is true of the United States). Experts like Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta, believe this figure will double especially because Canada is experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. These type of extreme weather events will continue to happen and at this point, we have to focus on the reduction of carbon emissions as well as how we help mitigate the impact of dry, disease-susceptible forests. Lives are depending on it!
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The giant sequoia trees in California’s Sequoia National Park are over 1,000 years old and could live another 2,000 years, but climate change-fueled fires are killing them. The trees can usually withstand the flames, but the intensity of recent fires has been overpowering. Last year’s Castle Fire killed up […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor As wildfires and deforestation grip the Amazon rainforest, Indigenous communities are urging world governments to pledge to protect 80% of the forest by 2025. The groups launched their campaign at a biodiversity conference in France, where experts from around the world are laying the groundwork for the UN’s delayed […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new assessment found that at least 30% of the world’s 60,000 tree species are nearing extinction in the wild. The number of tree species threatened— 17,500— is twice that of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles combined. Why this Matters: Trees are crucial to maintaining the earth’s ecosystems. Trees not […]
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