For decades, due to the warm climate, scientists have predicted that British Columbia would experience more intense wildfire seasons. However, this season the destruction has been more than any other season. Henceforth, the BC government has extended the provincial state of emergency.
According to Chilliwack fire ecologist Robert Gray, the wildfire emergencies BC experienced in 2017 and 2018 weren’t expected for decades.
He said, “What we thought was going to be an average condition in 2050, we’re starting to see those conditions coming a lot sooner. There’s been a lot of discussion in the scientific community about really changing what we think the future is going to look like.”
On Tuesday, over 12,984 square kilometres are in British Columbia had burned. This year, the wildfire has pushed past the previous record set just a year earlier, in 2017.
On Wednesday morning, as the 534 fires continued to burn, the province announced that it has extended the state of emergency through to the end of the day on September 12. Due to the catastrophic wildfire, around 3,200 people have been removed, whereas, 21,800 are on alert.
In the wildfire season of 2017, 12,161 square kilometres of British Columbia went up in flames. Besides, 65,000 people forced from their homes.
Scientists have suggested that there are several reasons for the severity of the last two wildfire seasons in BC. These may include– lack of controlled burning and aggressive firefighting efforts that have allowed potential fuels to build up across the province.
However, the change in weather patterns, driven by climate change has pushed things over the edge. It has brought warmer, drier weather and more lightning to the province.
As per the records, 1,467 fires this year have been started by lightning. Besides, another 443 by human activity. The deteriorating situation in the British Columbia call for some serious initiatives, so that the coming seasons can witness a downfall in the rising record set by the wildfire.