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Fires in Canada break records for consumed area, evacuations and costs

Fires in Canada break records for consumed area, evacuations and costs

The forest fires that burn in different points of Canada They have already broken records for total area consumed, number of people forced to evacuate their homes and the cost of fighting the flames, and the fire season is only half over, authorities said Thursday.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that the 2023 fire season is and will continue to be unprecedented in many ways”Michael Norton, director general of the Canadian Forest Service’s Northern Forestry Centre, said Thursday during a briefing.

A health expert also warned that smoke from the fires could cause health problems for people living in both Canada and the United States.

“When large amounts of smoke from fires are released into the air and that smoke reaches populated areas, there will be health effects.”said Ryan Allen, a professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Norton said the hot weather and arid conditions across Canada indicate the possibility of higher than normal fire activity during July and August.

“Drought is an important factor that affects parts of all provinces and territories, intensifying in some regions”he pointed. “When combined with forecasts of above-normal temperatures across most of the country, many parts of Canada are anticipated to continue to see above-normal fire activity.”

As of Wednesday, there were 639 active fires in Canada, 351 of which are burning out of control. So far this year there have been 3,412 fires, well above the 10-year average of 2,751, according to Norton.

The fires have consumed 8.8 million hectares (27.7 million acres), an area the size of the state of Virginia. This already surpasses the record of 7.6 million hectares (18.7 million acres) set in 1989 and is 11 times the 10-year average experienced to date.

Allen said that the fine particles found in smoke from the fires not only have the ability to penetrate deep into the respiratory tract, but can also travel long distances, meaning they could find their way into the United States.

There have been reports that fires in eastern Canada and Quebec are affecting air quality in Europe.

Source: Gestion

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