Several wildfires burning in Alaska and Yukon on July 22. (NASA/Pierre Markuse)

As spate of wildfires ravage the Arctic, Canada–so far–is feeling a bit less heat


As what the World Meteorological Organization calls “unprecedented” wildfires rage across much of the Arctic, Canada–at least so far–seems to a escaping the worst of the ravaging.

Dan Thompson, a fire research scientist with Natural Resources Canada, says this year is turning out to be “average” on Canadian territory.

Roughly 8,500 square kilometres of Canadian Arctic land has burned so far.

Flames and smoke rise from a wildfire burning near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., in 2017. Recent satellite imagery shows several large fires burning in Siberia and northern Alaska. (CBC: Submitted by Melanie Blake)

“Fire happens all the time.” Thompson told CBC News’ Kate Kyle.

“It might be really busy in one part of the North, say in Siberia, but that doesn’t mean Northern Canada is busy as well.”

Currently, there are at three fires burning and actively spreading across the Canadian Arctic, including in Yukon near the Alaska border, near Inuvik, N.W.T. and on the Nunavut/Manitoba border.

This aerial photo shows the advancing fire around Ljusdal, Sweden, as a wildfire swept through the large forest area on July 18. 2018. (Maja Suslin/Lehtikuva via AP)

Meanwhile, at least 100 fires are burning in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska, four to five times the usual number.

They follow the hottest June on record.

Scientists say many of the fires are likely penetrating deep into the soil, releasing carbon that has been trapped for hundreds of years.

“That’s a problem because fires in peat moss emit about 10 times the amount of methane per kilogram of fuel compared with regular wildfires,” says Thomas Smith an associate professor at the London School of Economics who studies peat fires around the world.

Storm clouds that suck up flames, dirt and smoke from wildfires and deposit them elsewhere, also known as ‘firenados,’ could become a new weather reality. (CBC News)

Smith tells CBC that emissions in June rose to 10 times the average of previous years.

In a few weeks, a fire can burn through hundreds of years worth of carbon sequestration,” he says.

“These greenhouse gas emissions, which are not offset by future regrowth, will lead to warming, and warming will increase the likelihood of peat soils being drier earlier in the summer and therefore more likely to burn.”

With files from CBC, Global News, The Guardian, Vice, Wired

Categories: Economy, Environment, Health, International, Society
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *