Canada told wildfires likely to continue for several weeks

As the death toll continues to rise from the devastating Hawaii wildfires, Canada has been warned that record-setting wildfires there have the potential to continue burning at an abnormally high rate for several more weeks.

Forest fires have engulfed parts of nearly all 13 Canadian provinces and territories this year, forcing home evacuations, disrupting energy production, and drawing in federal as well as international firefighting resources. Four firefighters have been killed in the line of duty.

So far about 134,000 square kilometres (52,000 square miles) of land have been scorched, more than six times a 10-year average, and nearly 168,000 people have been forced to evacuate at some point this season.

“This summer has turned into a challenging marathon,” a spokesman for the Canadian Forest Service said. “Our most recent projections indicate the potential for higher-than-normal fire activity remains across much of Canada in August and September,” he added.

The Fire Service said simultaneous flaring up of blazes across the country were “virtually unheard of” and largely due to drought conditions that continue to intensify in some areas and will contribute to ongoing fire activity through late summer.

The fires have also sent plumes of smoke across Canadian and U.S. skies, raising health alarms and concerning scientists about the impact on the atmosphere.

The EU’s Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service recently estimated that Canadian wildfires have released 290 million metric tons of carbon, over 25% of the global total for 2023 to date, with emissions are set to rise.