Where I live, it's been very hazy outside lately. The haze is due to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. It makes it unpleasant to be outside. We are currently under an Air Quality Advisory as of today. I can't imagine what Canadians are experiencing from this.
According to a CBS news report, it states that Canada is experiencing its most destructive wildfire season on record.
The article states that "Political leaders, including President Biden, and environmental experts have pointed to the causal link between rising temperatures driven by climate change, as well as drought, and the extreme wildfire season that Canada is experiencing now."
The article goes on to state that "The fires have scorched at least 7.9 million hectares -- or around 19.5 million acres -- of land across Canada this year. That number, reported on Wednesday, had jumped 100,000 hectares, or nearly 250,000 acres, over just 24 hours."
According to CBC Canada, it states that "On Wednesday, Toronto's air quality is predicted to reach a nine on the 10-point Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) scale, which measures air quality based on how it will impact health. A nine indicates a high level of risk, which encourages those considered at risk to consider cutting back on or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities if they are experiencing symptoms."
According to the NPR, the smoke has reached Europe.
What a mess.
There are reports that some of the fires were caused due to lightening strikes, and some were caused by arson or other human means.
What can we learn from this? According to an article from The Daily Signal, it states that we need better forestry management.
The article states that "Poor funding, bureaucratic red tape, and green ideology have suppressed Canada's ability to manage its forests and clear the fuel that turns an ordinary fire into a towering inferno."
According to an article from the Union of Concerned Scientists, it states that "proactive forest management can also be a tool to address our wildfire problem. Fuel treatments like forest thinning combined with prescribed burns can reduce the risk of crown fire, while allowing wildfires to burn when they can be safely managed can achieve similar objectives."
Back in 2021, the USDA stated that better forestry management in the US was needed. In an article from Reuters, it states that "Forest Service and other research scientists have determined that this current level of treatment is not enough to keep pace with the scale and scope of the wildfire problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a document laying out the department's climate change strategy."
The article goes on to state that "The USDA, which manages the 193 million acres of Forest Service land, said forest treatment rates need to rise by between two- and four-fold. That would result in an additional 50 million acres of federal, tribal and private lands, primarily in Western U.S. states, being treated in the next 19 years, it said."
Obviously, forestry management has seemed to fall out of favor. We need to return to the practices from the 1970's and 1980's.
Helen Roush is Executive Vice President of Paperitalo Publications.