‘It’s Like Our Country Exploded’: Canada’s Year of Fire

By David Wallace-Wells
The New York Times
October 24, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

By the end of September, more than half of the world’s countries could fit inside the land burned this year in the Canadian wilderness. Since the 1970s, the average area burned in the country had already doubled; this year, wildfires consumed that average six times over. The modern single-year record had been set in 1989, when almost 19 million acres burned across the country. In 2023, the total has passed 45 million. …In the US, in recent years, fire scientists and forest ecologists have emphasized the complex human drivers of records like these — that beyond the effects of warming, the American West is dealing with a century of aggressive fire suppression and poor forest management. …Globally, the fire story is less exponential, with declines in burned area in sub-Saharan Africa mostly offsetting rapid fire growth in the major midlatitude hot spots, with the global trend in fire emissions, as a result, mostly flat. [to access the full story a NY Times subscription is required]

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