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Canada Wildfires Threaten to Bring Smoke Down to US Again

Wildfires in Canada prompt concerns for potential smoke drifting to U.S.

As wildfires continue to ravage parts of Canada, meteorologists are warning that conditions are ripe for a repeat of last year’s fire season, which brought thick smoke down to the United States, impacting air quality and creating eerie skies in cities like New York.

With over 130 wildfires currently burning in multiple provinces of Canada, mostly in the western region, the situation is becoming increasingly dire. Jennifer Smith, a national warning preparedness meteorologist for the Meteorological Service of Canada, emphasized the extremely dry conditions that are fueling the fires, noting that the warmest winter on record in Canada has contributed to the heightened risk.

Last year saw Canada’s most destructive wildfire season on record, with more than 7,100 blazes scorching over 42 million acres of land. Smoke from these fires reached as far as the East Coast of the United States, prompting concerns about the potential for a similar scenario this year.

Experts are attributing the early start to the fire season to back-to-back years of drought in Canada, leading to what are known as “zombie fires” – fires that were never fully extinguished and have reignited with the return of warmer weather. Dry lightning strikes are also sparking new fires in remote areas, adding to the challenges faced by firefighters.

Climate scientists are sounding the alarm on the role of climate change in intensifying wildfires, emphasizing the need for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the wildfire season progresses, the potential for smoke to drift into the United States remains a very real threat.

Authorities are closely monitoring the situation and taking measures to contain the fires, but with the forecast indicating above-average fire weather risk for much of Canada, the battle against wildfires is far from over. The impact of these fires extends beyond borders, serving as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address the root causes of climate change.

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