Quebec has gone from 13 forest fires on Saturday June 20 to 20 fires on Sunday, including one which is still out of control in Lac-Saint-Jean, and which is heading towards the Saguenay, already ravaging more than 62,396 hectares of forest since last Tuesday. (CTV Montreal)
Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:
Sébastien Jodoin, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law
“The forest fires affecting Quebec are an illustration of both a cause and a consequence of climate change. To cope with an increased frequency of heatwaves and other climate impacts, Quebec will need to develop an ambitious climate adaptation plan in the years to come. It must also continue to do its share to reduce its contributions to global warming.”
Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, where he directs the Law, Governance & Society Lab. He is also a member of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, an Associate Member of the School of Environment, and a Faculty Associate of the Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative at Yale University. His research focuses on legal and policy solutions to complex environmental and social problems that cut across multiple fields and levels of governance.
sebastien.jodoin-pilon [at] mcgill.ca (English, French)
Morgan Crowley, PhD Candidate, Department of Natural Resources Sciences
"Lightning is one of the main causes of wildfires in Canada; they account for 60% of ignitions in a typical fire season. What we see in Quebec is that many fires were started by people, while also new ignitions have begun from lightning storms. We often hope for rainstorms for relief during the fire season, but sometimes storms can instead cause more fires if they bring also lightning. We saw this in the extreme 2017 fire season in British Columbia when one lightning storm started around 200 ignitions overnight. Hopefully, we can get some rain soon to help contain and extinguish the fires before any more ignite."
Morgan Crowley is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. Her research focuses on mapping and analyzing wildfire progressions in Canada. She is broadly interested in satellite remote sensing, wildland fires, geospatial ecology, and the Google Earth Engine.
morgan.crowley [at] mail.mcgill.ca (English)