Hundreds of major fires have been raging in Canada for weeks, in almost every province of the country, from east to west. The fires are particularly numerous and intense in the eastern provinces, and the smoke they are causing is generating dense clouds of smoke that are covering the skies of many cities, both in Canada and in the United States. Smoking has caused, among other things, the cancellation of several flights and the closure of some schools as a precaution: moreover, the inhabitants of many cities have been asked to use masks and not to leave their homes.
There are currently 413 active fires in Canada, of which 249 are believed to be out of control, and about 26,000 people have been evacuated. Most of the fires are raging in the eastern province of Quebec, and other provinces in the east of the country, but there are also many in the west.
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The current one is one of the worst fire seasons in Canadian history: since the beginning of the year, about 33,000 square kilometers of land have burned in Canada, 13 times more than the average for the last 10 years (according to the latest officially diffuse Sunday).
Fires in Canada are usually more common in the western provinces, and it is rather unusual for fires to occur in so many different areas at the same time. Fires are caused especially from human activity and lightning, but they develop so much and are more likely due to climatic conditions, with rising temperatures and less rainfall making vegetation drier and more flammable.
Fires had started in April in British Columbia and Alberta in western Canada. In the following weeks, they had also formed in the east, in the provinces of Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. While those in the west are largely under control, those that have developed in the east continue to expand.
Wildfires are common in western provinces of Canada, but this year flames have mushroomed rapidly in the country’s east, making it the worst-ever start to the wildfire season pic.twitter.com/zA4BILVbT3
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 8, 2023