Hundreds of thousands of acres continued to smoke in the western United States and Canada on Wednesday, affected by multiple fires and severe drought, with no signs of a lull.
Entire parts of California were put on fire-red alert Wednesday as several fires progressed. The flames of the River Fire have not yet curbed near the world-famous Yosemite National Park, a climber’s paradise, and firefighters were worried about the advance of the Dixie fire further north.
Although 2020 was the worst year in modern fire history in California, 2021 may already be breaking that record.
But in neighboring Oregon, fires are currently doing the most damage: spurred by dry weather and rising winds, the Bootleg fire has already engulfed more than 86,000 acres, the equivalent of 120,000 football fields, forcing many residents to evacuate the area.
Forest fires are also intensifying across the border in Canada. In the west, which suffered an unprecedented heat wave a few days ago, more than 35 new fires have been identified in the past two days, local authorities say.
One of the main epidemics in the province covers more than 40,000 hectares, and nearly 900 homes have been evacuated.
Experts believe that this heat wave is directly related to global warming. And no improvement is expected in the coming days from the weather side, according to the environment of Canada, responsible for the weather forecasts in the country.
The American West has indeed been caught in a devastating vicious circle: arid soils and parched vegetation are creating the conditions for temperatures to rise.
Higher mercury, repeated waves and occasional precipitation are also an ideal combination for the development of fires.
“Dry conditions and no precipitation are forecast. Temperatures remain above normal, so not much change is expected in the coming days,” said meteorologist Jill Maepea.
In the east, thousands of people have had to be evacuated in recent days, especially in indigenous communities in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.
“90 forest fires are active in the province, including 80 in the northwestern part,” a sparsely populated area, Shayne McCool, a spokeswoman for the region’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests, confirmed to AFP.
Staff from Quebec and Wisconsin in the United States have been sent to put out the blaze.