With hundreds of active wildfires in Canada, the North American country’s government is preparing for a tense summer. “Our model calculations show that there could be a particularly severe wildfire season this summer,” he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday (local time) at a press conference in the capital Ottawa. Indicators of this include the ongoing drought and forecasts of longer periods of warm weather.
Three million hectares burned
“Every year, because of climate change, wildfires are getting worse – and they’re starting to happen in places that don’t normally happen.” The province of Alberta has been fighting for weeks Western Canada against the devastating fires. Many fires are also active in Quebec in the northeast of the country. In the southeastern province of Nova Scotia, the situation has improved somewhat recently.
According to data from Sunday afternoon, there are 413 active fires in several provinces across the country, more than half of which are out of control, the government said. Evacuation orders were therefore applied to approximately 26,200 people. There have already been more than 2,200 fires this year and more than three million hectares have burned. This is more than eleven times the average of the last ten years. “We are already experiencing one of the worst wildfire seasons on record and we are preparing for a long summer,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault.
With climate change, experts warn that forest fires will become more frequent and more destructive. In Canada’s western prairie provinces, the average temperature has risen 1.9 degrees Celsius since the mid-20th century, according to the Department of Environment and Climate Change.
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