Canada Braces for Another Tough Wildfire Season

Last Updated: June 21, 2024By

Canada Braces for Another Tough Wildfire Season


Hey everyone! So, here’s the scoop on Canada’s wildfire situation. It’s looking pretty rough, and we might be in for another crazy fire season. Let’s dive in.

Why So Worried?

Last year, Canada went through its worst wildfire season ever. Imagine more than 6,600 wildfires burning up 15 million hectares (that’s like 37 million acres!). It was insane, with the area burned being seven times more than the usual annual average. Sadly, eight brave firefighters lost their lives, and about 230,000 people had to leave their homes.

This Year’s Forecast

So, what’s the deal this year? The federal government is super concerned, and here’s why. They’re predicting higher-than-normal temperatures for spring and summer, thanks to this weather phenomenon called El Niño. If you haven’t heard of El Niño, it’s a climate pattern that can seriously mess with weather all around the world.


This past winter was warmer than usual, and there was a lot of drought. Basically, it’s a perfect recipe for another wild summer. Harjit Sajjan, who’s in charge of emergency preparedness, said we’re looking at a wildfire season that could start sooner, end later, and be way more intense than we’d like.

Climate Change – The Big Bad Wolf

Federal ministers are saying that climate change is the real culprit behind all this extreme weather. It’s making wildfires, droughts, and heatwaves more frequent and severe. Jonathan Wilkinson, the energy and natural resources minister, pointed out that while Canada has always had wildfires, they’re now happening more often and are way more intense. The science backs this up, pinning the blame squarely on climate change.

What’s Being Done?

The government isn’t just sitting around. Ottawa is putting C$256 million (that’s about US$187 million) into new wildfire-fighting equipment and training an extra 1,000 community-based firefighters over the next five years. Provinces and territories are matching this funding, which is pretty cool.

Last year, Canada even brought in 5,500 firefighters from places like South Africa and Spain and had over 2,000 members of the armed forces help out with the wildfires.

Counting the Costs

Wildfires and other severe weather caused more than C$3.1 billion in insured damages last year. That’s a huge hit, financially speaking.

British Columbia’s Situation

British Columbia, the westernmost province, has its own set of issues. Their snowpack levels are the lowest they’ve been since 1970 – only 63% of what’s normal, compared to 88% last year. Snowpack is crucial because it melts and helps keep things wet, which can help prevent wildfires. Jonathan Boyd, a hydrologist at the River Forecast Centre, says that typically, drought and wildfires go hand in hand. So, it’s not looking great for them either, but it all depends on how the weather behaves this spring.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Canada is gearing up for what could be another tough wildfire season. With climate change making things worse, it’s more important than ever to stay prepared and support the efforts to combat these fires. Stay safe, everyone!

Feel free to ask any questions or share your thoughts below!

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