Extreme temperatures: forest fires and floods in Canada

Status: 05/06/2023 11:47

Abnormally high temperatures are currently being measured in western Canada. The result: forest fires – but also floods. And the situation could get even worse.

High temperatures are currently causing numerous forest fires in western Canada. According to authorities, there are more than 100 fires in the province of Alberta, of which about 30 are out of control. According to firefighters and emergency services, more than 25,000 people have been brought to safety.

103 fires raged across the province, where a hot, dry spring created an “unprecedented situation”, Provincial Chief Danielle Smith told reporters. Thousands of other people were therefore called upon to prepare for an evacuation.

Forest fires are favored by temperatures that can reach 15 degrees above average in some places. The wind and the drought promote the spread of the flames. According to Smith, 122,000 hectares have been burned so far.

This year already 348 fires

Christie Tucker of Alberta Wildfires said there have been 348 fires since January that have burned 25,000 hectares of forest. “It’s a lot more for the time of year than previous years,” Tucker said.

Everything is clear not in sight

In the neighboring western province of British Columbia, record temperatures melted the snow so quickly that rivers overflowed in some places. Roads had to be closed and houses were flooded.

Strong winds and high temperatures are expected to continue over the next few days and weeks, so the situation could worsen.

Disaster Relief Secretary Bill Blair tweeted that the Ottawa government stands ready to provide federal assistance if needed.

Emily Bond

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