As Canada battled wildfires from its west coast to the prairies, another scorching heat wave threatened to sweep across British Columbia this week, where over a million acres have burned since April.
In recent months, a series of almost incessant heat waves and a drought linked to climate change has helped fuel explosive forest fires.
In Manitoba, a drought has forced pastoralists to consider selling some or all of their livestock. With the forecast rising in temperatures, Northwestern Ontario is also bracing for a possible fire outbreak later this week, its provincial wildfire service said in a Twitter post.
The risks of these fires have been illustrated in southern Oregon, where the Bootleg Fire has grown so large and so hot that it created his own weather forecast , triggering lightning and releasing huge amounts of smoke.
The hot and dry conditions expected this week could developing the underworld, Forrest Tower, a spokesperson for the Br Itish Columbia Wildfire Service, said in an audio clip released by the ministry on Sunday.
Near the southern part of the province, the Okanagan region, about 200 miles north of the Washington , a blaze that has been burning uncontrollably since July 13 now covers more than 137,000 acres, the fire department estimates . Nearly 300 firefighters, as well as more than a dozen helicopterstères and other heavy machinery, are fighting the fire, but have so far failed to control the flames.
Temperatures in the interior BC region could exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit later this week, said Bobby Sekhon, an emergency preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Change Climate Canada , a government agency. High temperatures could make it harder to put out fires, as seen in the record-breaking June heat wave, when crews in British Columbia struggling with engines d overheated helicopter and othersmachine failures.
"It 's not as intense as what we saw in late June," Sekhon said, when temperatures rose. exceeded 120 degrees Fahrenheit in places. "Nonetheless, we are potentially looking at our third round of heat warnings for this summer, which is far more than what we have seen in the past two summers.
Wildfire smoke from Canada and the West The United States spread across the continent last month, blanketing the skies in thick haze and triggering health alerts from Toronto to Philadelphia, with authorities in some places recommending people stay indoors with windows closed.
Across the Pacific Northwest, fires have become more widespread and more frequent in recent years, threatening the lives and livelihoods of residents and disrupting a tourism industry that relies on clear skies and fresh air.
Local governments and Indigenous communities in fire-affected areas of British Columbia have issued evacuation alerts, asking residents to pack essential items, documents and souvenirs, to plan for the k pet and livestock transport and have full tanks of fuel in their cars in case of an order to flee to safety.
About 32 500 properties are subject to evacuation alerts in British Columbia, the province said in a bulletin Monday, while residents over 6 Another 500 properties have already been ordered to evacuate. The province currently has 273 active wildfires, the bulletin notes, out of a total of 1,445 since April that have burned more than 1.5 million acres. .
The total number of forest fires in Canada this year has already exceeded the country's 10-year average by at least 30 percent, with months remaining in the fire season, according to data released by Natural Resources Canada .
The forest fires burning parts of Canada and the United States in recent years may be only the beginning of the woes of the regions, selon a new one United Nations Scientific Report . The extreme weather conditions seen around the world, including droughts, heat waves and floods, are likely to worsen for at least the next 30 years, according to the report, due to climate change induced by human activity. .
Kim Connors, executive director of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center, a firefighting resource coordination authority, said the country had experienced a similar wildfire situation in 2017. But this year, he said, the wildfires cover a huge area, all "west of the Great Lakes, which includes the province of St. 'Ontario, to the Pacific Ocean ".
En coAs a result, he said, authorities won't free up resources to focus on large fires. The problem has been magnified by cuts in aid and resources from the United States, due to its own battle with wildfires, and countries like New Zealand and Australia, which failed were unable to send crews due to pandemic travel restrictions.