Posted By RichC on July 23, 2014
Last weekend while traveling in North Dakota, we ran into the smoke from the many boreal forest fires burning in the Northwest Territories in Canada on Sunday. At first I wasn’t sure why the normally crisp clear skies were so hazy, but then Taylor told us about the smoke blowing south from the 156 currently burning forest fires in Canada. According to the ClimateCentral blog, one of the fires stretch over 250,000 acres (see photo from that Birch Creek Fire below and smoke over Alberta, Canada at the left). Boreal forest (or Taiga – new word for me) burning is common each year, but this year the number of fires is “six times greater than the 25-year average to date” according to Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center.
An aerial view of the Birch Creek Fire complex, which seared 250,000 acres as of Wednesday. Credit: NWTFire/Facebook
For the past few weeks, dry and warm weather have fueled large forest fires across Canada’s remote Northwest Territories. The extent of those fires is well above average for the year to-date, and is in line with climate trends of more fires burning in the northern reaches of the globe.