More than 16 thousand people have been evacuated due to the fires that have developed in recent days in the Halifax area, the capital of Nova Scotia, in eastern Canada. The fires were favored by drought and higher than normal temperatures for the period and, according to reports from local emergency authorities, are “out of control”: so far they have destroyed at least 200 homes and buildings, burning more than 100 square kilometers of territory.
Earlier this month, thousands more people had been forced to flee their homes due to dozens of fires that had developed in various parts of Alberta, in western Canada. About 3,500 people are still displaced.
Large fires are quite rare in the province of Nova Scotia. In recent weeks, however, they have been registered 176: in the same period last year there were 70. Although in the absence of specific studies it is not possible to automatically attribute these fires to climate change, we have long known that global warming increases the risks of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, and requires immediate measures to prevent their effects.