Friday, August 04, 2017

This is British Columbia’s Second-Worst Wildfire Season. It’s Far From Over

And many animals are killed and displaced by these wildfires.

Brian Kahn By Brian Kahn
Aug. 4, 2017

Poor air quality, blood-red sunsets and mountains swallowed by smoke are just a handful of the impacts of wildfires roaring in British Columbia.

The fires kicked up in early July but have spread in recent days as hot, dry and windy weather has fanned the flames and sent smoke streaming across the border into Washington and Oregon. Wildfires have burned through 1.2 million acres of forest and grassland as of Wednesday, making this the second-worst wildfire year on record for British Columbia. And with the whole month of August to go — typically the worst month for wildfires in the province — it’s likely this year will continue its assault on the record books.


The blazes in British Columbia are the latest in a fiery game of ring-around-the-rosy happening in the northern stretches of the world's forests. With each passing year, destructive fires are destroying more and more forests of spruce, fir, larch and other trees that spread across Russia, Canada and Alaska and northern Europe.

The unprecedented burn is a symptom of rising temperatures in a region that has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world. And because those forests contain some of the largest forest stores of carbon on the planet, sending them up in smoke will only increase the impacts of climate change.


tags: extreme weather, severe weather

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