Wildfires have been surging in Quebec and western Canada and it’s causing air quality issues along with hazy, orange skies as we saw in New York City last Wednesday. Canada is experiencing an unprecedented start to their wildfire season as over 11 million acres have already burned. That’s near double the size of the state of Vermont.
Unseasonably warm temperatures and dry weather that Canada experienced in May has now allowed for the perfect breeding ground for fires to spread out of control. The fires in Quebec, in particular, were caused by lightning from storms around the first of June.
We know that increased heat and extended droughts are a key factor in wildfire formation and intensity, both of which climate change is proven to play a role in. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, if the average annual temperature were to rise by one degree Celsius, then the west could see as much as a 600 percent increase in median burned area per year.