Parts of Western Canada on Fire

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Lerner, May 21, 2023.

  1. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    "EDMONTON, Alberta — As acrid smoke filled the air, turning the sky around her sleepy hometown, Fox Creek, Alberta, a garish blood orange, Nicole Clarke said she felt a sense of terror.

    With no time to collect family photographs, she grabbed her two young children, hopped into her pickup truck, and sped away, praying she wouldn’t drive into the blaze’s menacing path.

    “This feels like a Canadian Armageddon, like a bad horror film,” said Clarke, a 37-year-old hair stylist, standing outside her truck, a large hamper of dirty laundry piled in the back."
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed. An extremely dangerous situation for many Western Canadians. So far, I read that there has been an unusually early heatwave, resulting in about 90 wildfires in Alberta and BC. Those provinces' firefighting resources are strained to the limit and hundreds of firefighters from other provinces and nations are in the battle. May it soon be over... and may all be safe.

    More info here: And here:
  3. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    How far away can people smell the smoke?
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A LONG way. Hundreds of miles. Calgary is blanketed in smoke and that city is about 300 miles from wildfires. Into the US and across much of central Canada. There's a map in one of these articles.

    2200 miles away, in Quebec, people thought they were smelling smoke from Alberta wildfires, but authorities determined this was not the case.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    In Washington DC, also 2200 miles away, people have smelled the smoke and seen the unusual sunsets produced by wildfire smoke.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    DENVER (AP) — Smoke from dozens of raging wildfires in western Canada has drifted south into the United States and prompted the states of Colorado and Montana to issue air quality alerts.

    Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment put out alerts and advisories for Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon for much of the eastern half of the state, including Denver. It warned that air quality may be unhealthy during that period.

    “People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion; everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion,” the department said.

    Particle pollution led the air quality index along parts of the Front Range to reach 168 on Saturday, the department said. A reading between 151 and 200 indicates unhealthy conditions that can affect sensitive groups as well as some members of the general public.
  7. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    If you're in BC or WA state, you'll be affected too, most fires are preventable, people just need to be extra careful and diligent when handling things... This happens yearly, those people who accidentally start these need to really be disciplined and fined...
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - but first we need authorities to identify them - then go after them. After the fact? Not easy.

    Good article from North Carolina State U. on the causes and spread of wildfires (including those that occur naturally) here: do sometimes occur naturally,to wildfires,” Roise said.

    I have no idea how many of this year's wildfires in Western Canada are natural and how many human-made, but early heatwaves are contributing to both the origin and - to a major extent, the spread - of these fires.
    Last edited: May 23, 2023
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, I know a little more now...There's a lot of data about fire causes kept by the Alberta Government. Here's a snippet from an article about that:

    "The Alberta government keeps and publishes astonishingly detailed data on wildfires—thousands of blazes going back nearly two decades, with their causes, locations, area burned, weather and more. This huge database shows that in the last decade, human causes were behind 43 per cent of all large wildfires—those that charred more than four hectares (roughly the size of four major-league baseball fields)." (Emphasis mine, J).

    (Lightning is also a frequent cause. It's referred to here as "Nature's way of regenerating forests.")
    Whole article here:
  10. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    The policy of 100% fire prevention is actually a good portion of what makes these wildfires so bad. The North American ecosystem is set up to burn cyclically. Many natives knew this and would purposely set less destructive fires in a regular-ish schedule. A small controlled fire every year or two is better than a massive wildfire every 5-10 years. In some places, it's been 100+ years since a fire was allowed to burn naturally. People today are reaping the consequences of this. The fires are getting bigger, hotter, and more dangerous.
    SteveFoerster and Johann like this.
  11. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    The raging wildfires in western Canada have wiped out more than two million acres of land in Alberta, an area about half the size of Lake Ontario.

    It’s a grim toll from what’s turning out to be one of the area’s worst wildfire seasons on record, triggered by record-high temperatures and low rainfall.

    Alberta Wildfire official Christie Tucker said on Tuesday help will soon arrive from Australia and New Zealand firefighters, set to join a few thousand already fighting the blaze.

    "There are 1,123 firefighters from across Canada and the United States assisting nearly 1,700 from Alberta wildfire on these fires. We're working closely with the municipal fire departments who are also protecting their own communities. Even though we have made headway on many wildfires on the landscape, we know that the season is far from over. We need to be prepared.”

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