Canada and Quebec are preparing for another heavy forest fire season

Published: 11 April 2024

No one can say for sure whether Canada’s 2024 wildfire season will be as devastating as last year, when 15 million hectares of forest burned and over 230,000 people had to be evacuated from their communities, but the relative lack of snow this winter, drought conditions in several regions and an early start to fire season have officials on high alert.

Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, a climate data scientist affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an alumnus of McGill's Department of Bioresource Engineering, told The Montreal Gazette that fighting climate change is the best strategy for preventing these devastating forest fires in the long term.

“We really need to understand that these types of fire we are seeing now, global warming will make them more common and more dangerous as we go further. This means people and communities are more likely to be affected by larger and larger fires, even catastrophic ones. So we really need to adapt to these frequent and more intense fires … The best adaptation is mitigation on a larger scale, so any efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce global warming will prevent these types of forest fires. But in terms of adaptation, I think community education and preparedness is really important.”

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