Monday, July 10, 2017

Canada Is Burning, Againg

Last year, in one of Canada's worst disasters, a wildfire overtook the city of Fort McMurray, displacing 88,000 people and burning hundreds of homes in that city.

Now, amid a long stretch of hot, dry weather, the forests of the vast western Canadian province of British Columbia are ablaze, and there's no sign things will settle down anytime soon.

At last check, no fewer than 220 wildfires were burning in British Columbia, which is under a state of emergency.

According to Reuters, things really took a turn for the worse Friday, when dry thunderstorms packing gusty winds and lots of lightning but little or no rain set off dozens of new, fast-spreading wildfires.

Dave Phillips, an Environment Canada climatologist, told CTV that a dome of high pressure is keeping any wet weather systems away from British Columbia.  It's been about a month since any rain fell in interior British Columbia, and before that, rainfall was scant.

There are no signs this high pressure will give way in the coming weeks.

"This will be the summer of fire," Phillips said.

Meanwhile, wildfires are also burning in the western United States, including in Alaska, Washington, Nevada, California and Arizona.

It's staying hot and dry in those states, too. The summer of fire, as usual, seems to be extending into the United States.

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