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How Did Canada Wildfires 2023 Start And Why Is The Smoke Affecting The US?

the causes of the devastating 2023 Canadian wildfires and how the ensuing smoke is affecting the US. Stay informed with MandyNews.



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As we transition into summer, a deepening crisis looms in the northern hemisphere.

The Canadian wildfires of 2023 have not only wrought havoc domestically but their impacts are also being felt beyond the Canadian borders, particularly in the United States.

This is one of the most devastating wildfire seasons in Canada’s history and it inevitably raises questions: how did these fires start, and why is the smoke affecting the U.S.? MandyNews unravels these questions.

I can taste the air, Dr. Ken Strumpf said in a Facebook post from Syracuse, New York, which was enveloped in an amber pall.”

The Origins of the 2023 Canadian Wildfires

Canadian wildfires, much like the Australian bushfires and the wildfires in the Western U.S., can be ignited by various sources, including lightning strikes, human activities such as careless disposal of cigarettes, or even deliberate acts of arson. However, the ignition is just the first step; it’s the conditions that follow which dictate the severity and spread of these wildfires.

This year, the season began on drier-than-usual ground. Low soil moisture and sparse rainfall provided a fuel-rich environment for these fires, helping them gain momentum quickly. Additionally, high temperatures and gusty winds often fan these flames, turning minor fires into extensive wildfires.

The increasing frequency and intensity of these wildfires have also been linked to climate change, which contributes to drier and warmer conditions, setting the stage for more potent wildfire seasons.

Over 400 blazes are currently active, displacing approximately 20,000 people. With the overwhelming number of fires, Canadian officials have called for international aid. This situation is deemed as the worst wildfire season ever for Canada. Smoke from the fires has been drifting into the U.S. since last month, causing a significant impact on air quality and affecting millions of people.

Quebec: The Heart of the Crisis

The situation intensified with a recent surge of fires in Quebec, where over 100 fires are considered out of control. The typically available reinforcements from other provinces have been strained by fires in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. Foreign aid has begun to arrive, but firefighting resources remain thin on the ground.

Smoke Crosses Borders: Impact on the United States

As Canadians grapple with this national disaster, the effects are rippling across the border. The U.S. is experiencing hazardous levels of pollution due to the smoke. Major cities, including New York, are shrouded in a thick haze, which has disrupted flight schedules and urged people to seek protection.

The current weather pattern in the U.S. is essentially funneling in the smoke, leading to a hazardous air quality situation. Forecasts anticipate some relief with rain in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic over the weekend or early next week.

Living with Smoky Skies

As U.S. National Weather Service meteorologist Zach Taylor notes:

More thorough relief will come from containing or extinguishing the fires.

However, the current scenario calls for ‘long haul’ preparation for both Canada and the U.S.

Smoke from the wildfires poses a substantial health risk, especially to those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Schools in multiple states have canceled outdoor activities, shifting recess and lunchtime inside. Even political demonstrations and sporting events have been affected.

Despite the hardships, the spirit of resilience is evident. The people affected express their concern for Canadians battling the fires. As we move forward, it becomes even more crucial to address the underlying causes of such extreme weather events and work toward more sustainable futures

Stay tuned to MandyNews for the latest updates on the Canadian wildfires and their impact on the U.S. and other regions.

AP Photo / Julie Jacobson

Pedestrians pass the One World Trade Center amidst a smokey haze from wildfires in Canada, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in New York.

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