Canadian Wildfire Smoke Now Looms Over Europe

Published on:
by Eric Burdon
Image of orange underlit clouds from wildfires
Image by onlyyouqj on Freepik

Scattered flames and smoke billowed in Canada as the fire season started much earlier than expected. While in some regions of Canada the smoke hasn’t reached due to consistent rain, it has been travelling far and wide and causing many problems. Many states in America have been getting those smoke clouds.

But in an unprecedented turn of events, the smoke has travelled across the pond and into Norway and southern Europe.

Even though the fire season starts in May through October, the wildfires we’ve seen early on set the tone for this year's fire season: it’ll be the largest one yet. So what should we be doing about it?

Take Extra Precautions

Ever since the smoke hit New York in early June, the plan was simple: 

  • Stay indoors if at all possible. 

  • Wear a mask when going outside. 

  • Install some air purifiers in your home if you can. 

  • And encourage companies and governments to take better climate change action. 

This extends to Norway and other parts of southern Europe, as the smoke has travelled to those areas. Thankfully, individuals from the EU have mobilized and are assisting Canada with the containment of these wildfires, but there can be extra precautions taken should matters continue to worsen.

Already, some residents in other provinces in Canada have evacuated their homes when conditions got worse. But beyond that, because these occurrences are rare, it’s important for us to look at the bigger picture.

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Faster Changes To Green Efforts

Warm and dry conditions are fuel for wildfires. And while Canada typically has some cold winters, a lot of Canadians experienced a much drier one than usual this year. Between Canada not administering many controlled burns and this environment, wildfires are able to spread and become more devastating than ever before.

Even before this year, the wildfire season is growing larger and larger as spring comes weeks earlier and fall lags behind. Furthermore, all 10 provinces are experiencing abnormal dryness and moderate or severe drought.

The only logical explanation for these shifts in seasons and weather overall is climate change.

Even though there is a lot that contributes to global warming, all of this comes back to the bigger picture of pushing governments - federal and local - as well as companies to support green initiatives and look at sustainable operations.

This is on top of reminding ourselves that the weather we are experiencing right now is not normal and isn’t something we ought to be comfortable with.

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Expect More Smoke And Smog

Until much larger changes are made to business carbon emissions and government regulation, it’s important to keep in mind that smoke and smog will be recurring events. In the coming years, there is bound to be smoke from wildfires travelling great distances. As seen in the case of the smoke in Europe, it was a direct result of the smoke from Québec wildfires managing to get into the jet stream crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Fortunately, the smoke and smog that travelled to Europe won’t have as big of an impact on air quality this time, but harsher wildfires over the years could change the situation should the climate crisis persist.

Keep up with more Environment news here.


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