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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Front Page: Canada Is On Fire

Canada is on fire. Images representing numerous fires can be seen from the Pacific coast all the way to the Atlantic coast.

On Wednesday, June 7th, North Carolina was under a “poor air quality” warning regarding the smoke from some of the Canadian fires. Haze could be seen for miles, including on Topsail Island.

New York City had such poor air quality from the fires that it was regarded as the “worst air in the world”.

Airlines grounded flights at major airports, including LaGuardia.

Public officials were asking people to stay home and stay indoors or to limit time spent outdoors.

Major league sporting events were canceled due to the air conditions.

Currently 18 states are affected by the smoke and haze, leading to poor air quality warnings and an unusual reddish tint to the sky.

Montana, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Washington D.C., Virginia and now North Carolina are some of the states impacted. Over 90 million people are being affected by the excessive smoke.

The fires have spread over 9 million acres so far this year with over 420 active fires. To date more than half of those fires are out of control. This could be the most destructive year on record for fires.

In Canada over 20,000 residents are misplaced, either due to loss from the fires or mandatory evacuations.

What is causing the overwhelming number of fires?

Excessive drought, little if any snow fall and warmer temperatures have formed the perfect recipe for disaster. In May the temperatures were the highest on record in 80 years.

Think of Canada as being cold? In 2021 the town of Lytton, British Columbia broke the highest one-day Canadian temperature record at 121 degrees (F). The highest recorded temperature of Death Valley is 134 degrees (F). In 2021, Death Valley recorded the highest “low” temperature when it cooled down to 107 degrees (F). The fire season in Canada generally runs from May until October.

The fire damage already done has residents and scientists concerned about the next five months ahead.

Satellite imagery shows areas of heavy smoke and wildfires burning in Quebec, Canada. Illustration Janet Loehrke/USA Today/CIRA/NOAA Via AP

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