Canada is on fire from coast to coast. And ironically, today is Clean Air Day.
As of June 2nd, wildfires are burning across six provinces and one territory in Canada — and they’re still spreading in an unprecedented way. So far, more than 2,200 fires have broken out across the country this year, burning approximately 2.7 million hectares.
Wildfires are an active part of many forest ecosystems but the cumulative effects of climate change are leading to hotter, drier summers and heat waves. Recent high temperatures, which are typically not seen until the summer months, are causing dry conditions and allowing forest fires to break out. Some “very erratic” winds are causing the fires to spread.
Some 28,000 people have already been forced to evacuate from their homes across Canada. We must consider how these fires are disproportionately impacting Indigenous communities.
For much of Canada, hot and dry weather is forecasted throughout June. And with a hotter and drier summer than normal expected, the full scope of the fire season has yet to be seen. Climate change is happening right now. This is not a future problem. We are experiencing the impacts today.
Although we are not experiencing fires nearby or at our nature reserves, we are still faced with the effects. Haze from the smoke has engulfed our entire region this week, and the Air Quality Index is forecasted at high risk in many areas.
As an organization that protects thousands of acres of forest, we are thinking of everyone (including wildlife) impacted by these fires and smoke.
The smoky skies and imposing danger can quickly trigger climate anxiety. You are not alone. Search for resources to help you through. And, as always, action is a great antidote to despair. One important way you can support Clean Air Day is to get involved with The Couchiching Conservancy – check out our ‘Get Involved’ tab to start.
Text credit to Random Acts of Green.