Unprecedented Canadian Wildfires Reach Europe, Fueling Concerns Over Record-breaking Season
Canada is facing its most devastating Canadian wildfires season in history, with smoke from the fires reaching western Europe on Monday. Already, over 19 million acres have been scorched across the country, surpassing the previous record set in 1989.
The peak season for wildfires in Canada is from June to August, indicating that there is still a significant portion of the season remaining.
The smoke from the Canadian wildfires has traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, reaching as far as the United Kingdom.
However, since the smoke remains in the upper levels of the atmosphere. It is not expected to significantly worsen surface air quality in Europe.
Instead, it may contribute to vivid sunrises and sunsets in the coming days. The smoke’s ability to reach Europe is due to the strong winds of the jet stream. Which allows it to remain in the atmosphere for longer periods and travel greater distances.
The wildfires persist in multiple provinces across Canada, with new fires reported regularly. On Sunday, there were at least 53 new wildland fires, with Alberta experiencing the highest number at 23, followed by Ontario and Quebec with eight each. On Monday, an additional 27 new wildland fires reported, including 16 in British Columbia.
Canadian Wildfires Mark the Worst Season on Record
Forecast models indicate that the smoke will remain in the upper levels of the atmosphere over Europe throughout the week.
This lingering presence results from the injection of smoke at high altitudes, enabling it to travel longer distances and stay in the atmosphere for extended periods.
CNN previously reported smoke reaching Norway in early June, highlighting the long-reaching effects of the Canadian wildfires.
The record-breaking Canadian wildfires continues to affect air quality in various regions of North America.
Environment Canada issued a bulletin warning of poor air quality caused by smoke in many parts of the country.
The capital city, Ottawa, experienced a high-risk air quality level of 10 on Sunday, gradually improving on Monday.
The impact of the fires is not limited to Canada, as plumes of smoke have also affected parts of the United States. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana issued air quality alerts due to the smoke.
As the climate crisis intensifies, scientists predict that wildfire seasons will become more severe worldwide. Droughts and increasing heat, driven by climate change, contribute to the escalation of wildfire risks.
It is crucial to address the underlying factors of the climate crisis to mitigate the devastating consequences of wildfires.