Climate change intensify B.C. wildfires
And are affecting the province’s weather.
Wildfires are wreaking havoc in British Columbia.
Last year an unprecedented 1.2 million hectares burned.
This was ten times higher than the ten-year average.
Monday morning more than 3,400 firefighters were combatting 600 wildfires.
And 46 fires were of “note”.
These fires “are highly visible…and pose a potential threat to public safety, ” said the B.C. Wildfire Centre.
The impact was devastating.
More than 200,000 people were affected by evacuation alerts and orders.
The fires are affecting Greater Vancouver’s weather.
Last year firefighting in B.C. cost almost $560 million.
But there is another serious problem.
Carol Bellringer, B.C.’s auditor-general, issued a report on the province’s climate change plans.
“A robust, prioritized, publicly available risk assessment can help ensure that all government ministries and partners are clear about which risks exist and which are the most critical to mitigate,” Bellringer said.
And the B.C. government has taken notice.
Last month it convened a conference on climate change.
“Our forests are changing, so we need to change, too,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“Adapting to new challenges posed by wildfires and responding to the effects of climate change on our natural environment are critical, and require a concerted effort by all levels of government and land managers.”
So if the air feels heavy and hard to breathe it’s not your imagination.
It’s the result of all those wildfires.
And it will stop if there is a change in the weather or the fires will subside.