Canada On Fire Again, Blowing Smoke To US

Jaime Reimer Pexels

Last year, hundreds of wildfires in Canada burned from the far west to areas north of America’s Atlantic Ocean border. Some huge fires in the east sent thick smoke as far south as Washington, D.C., and as far west as Minneapolis. Climate scientists say this will happen again, although it will likely not be every year.

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Wildfire season has started again, and smoke from Canada is already moving south to the US. So far, areas from the Dakotas to northern Minnesota have been affected. A new fire has just started along the St. Lawrence River about 360 miles northeast of Quebec City. North Klondike Highway in Yukon was closed because of two figures. 

Hidden Fires

The BBC recently explained one aspect of Canadian wildfires that needs to be better understood. “Canada’s boreal zone – a mixture of forest and wetlands – makes up more than half of its land area. Wildfires burned a record 185,000 sq km (71,429 sq miles) of the country in 2023, an area the size of Syria. In western Canada, 163 of these fires went underground and smouldered until this spring, which fire services refer to as “overwintering” or “holdover” fires.”

In other words, parts of Canada are always on fire, and many are in areas likely to send smoke to the northeast American coast, where tens of millions of people live.

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