A forest fire about 23 kilometres north of Stewart Crossing, Yukon, is being fought from the air and on the ground.

A forest fire about 23 kilometres north of Stewart Crossing, Yukon, is being fought from the air and on the ground.
Photo Credit: Yukon Wildland Fire Management

Record wildfire season?

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Climate change predictions seem to be coming true.  Last year was a record year for destructive wildfires in Canada, and this year seems on target to break that record.  Generally drier conditions throughout Canada’s boreal forest, combined with lightning have meant a record start to the fire season.

Hectares burned comparison chart so far this year vs 10 year average (blue line)
Hectares burned comparison chart so far this year vs 10 year average (blue line) © CIFFC

Yukon territory has called for outside help after several new fires were started on the weekend, and 11 in the past 24 hours.

That brings to the total this year to 123 wildfires compared to 32 for all of last year.

Canadian fire situation showing relative danger from blue(low) to red (extrme) and with dots showing various wildfires burning and relative size
Canadian fire situation showing relative danger from blue (low) to red (extreme) and with dots showing various wildfires burning and relative size © NRC

George Maratos, spokeperson for Yukon Wildland Fire Management says damper conditions in the southern part of the territory has lessened danger there, but the central and northern regions remain at extreme risk.

George Maratos with Yukon Wildland Fire Management says the territory is asking other juridictions for help as the number of burning fires continues to grow. He is hoping to get an additional 45 people for initial attack crews
George Maratos with Yukon Wildland Fire George Maratos with Yukon Wildland Fire Management says the territory is asking other juridictions for help as the number of burning fires continues to grow. He is hoping to get an additional 45 people for initial attack crews “if the other provinces are able to provide that support” © Mike Rudyk/CBC

 According to the federal Natural Resources Canada site there have been over 3,000 fires to date compared with a ten year average of almost 2,500. Area burned so far is also greatly increased from average, at over 704,000 hectares so far compared to an average of just over 406,000 ha. at this time of year.

Alberta has had the most fires so far with 906 in total, with British Columbia next at 500.

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One comment on “Record wildfire season?
  1. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    Weather, these days, is providing more extremes. with potential negative spin-offs.