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Where are wildfires burning in Canada right now?

The climate crisis, caused by burning fossil fuels, is driving larger, more frequent and erratic wildfires

Ariana Baio,Louise Boyle
Monday 17 July 2023 18:38 BST
Apocalyptic time-lapse shows New York disappear into orange smoke from Canada wildfires

There are 881 wildfires burning across Canada including one blaze which ignited on Monday, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).

Hundreds of wildfires continue to rage across provinces and territories causing air quality to plummet in the US and Canada. Some 577 fires are currently out of control, according to CIFFC.

The climate crisis, caused by emissions from fossil fuels, is driving larger, more frequent and erratic wildfires around the world.

Two firefighters died while fighting blazes in Canada in recent days. One male firefighter from Fort Liard in Canada’s Northwest Territories died from an injury sustained while tackling a blaze near his community, authorities said on Sunday. Devyn Gale, a 19-year-old female firefighter, was also killed by a falling tree near Revelstoke, British Columbia while battling blazes.

Canadian officials have warned that this could be the country’s worst wildfire season on record and smoke would be a problem “all summer”.

There have been 4,148 fires so far this year in Canada, destroying more than 38,000 square miles - an area three times the size of Belgium.

Smoke returned to large parts of the US Midwest and Northeast on Monday but is yet to reach levels seen in June when plumes darkened skies and made it difficult to breathe in at least 20 states and large parts of Canada.

On 7 June, New York City shot above 400 on the Air Quality Index (which runs from 0-500) – a “hazardous” level of pollution that bathed the city in an eerie orange haze.

Public health officials advised all people to stay indoors and wear masks outside to limit their smoke inhalation.

The wildfires have been exacerbated by drought conditions across Canada. According to the Canada Drought Monitor, ten provinces have experienced abnormal dryness.

Rising global temperatures, due to emissions from burning fossil fuels, is fuelling larger and more frequent wildfires.

This article has been updated on Monday, 17 July

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