British Columbia in State of Emergency as Climate Change Fuels Canada’s Worst Wildfire Season Ever

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In Canada, the province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency where entire towns have been burned to the ground in the country’s worst wildfire season ever. Evacuation orders are in place for more than 35,000 people, and 30,000 more have been told to be prepared to evacuate. Nearly all 20,000 residents have already left the city of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Scientists say climate change is increasing the risk of wildfires because they are fueled by the increasingly hot and dry weather. “There’s a symbiosis here between how the climate is changing relative to the length of a potential fire season and the fuels that provide energy to fires,” says Bob Gray, a wildland fire ecologist, speaking to us from Chilliwack, British Columbia. Gray warns that Canada’s firefighting workforce is stretched thin, relying on a network of provincial firefighters, contractors and international firefighters.


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