We Still Haven’t Learned to Live with Wildfires

By Ed Struzik, Queen’s University
The Tyee
October 26, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The similarities between the fires now and then are uncanny, as described in my book Dark Days at Noon: The Future of Fire. The ignition of fires between 1870 and 1922 was fuelled by higher temperatures, drier forests and the kind of elevated lightning activity that we are experiencing today. Much of the warming back then can be attributed to the end of the little ice age (1300 to 1850), and the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today, the unprecedented warming taking place is primarily because of the burning of fossil fuels. Forest land-grabbing and negligence has also fuelled numerous fires. …The other thing that hasn’t changed much is public policy. …The end of the world is not at hand, but there will be many more dark days at noon if we do not learn to live with fire.

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