ReutersA cloud of orange smoke over New York from the wildfires in Canada
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 08:33
Due to the fierce wildfires in Canada, the east coast of the country and that of the United States are ravaged by enormous clouds of smoke. Authorities have issued warnings due to deteriorating air quality.
The smoke mainly comes from the province of Quebec, where about 160 forest fires are raging. According to the province, more than 110 of these are not yet under control.
Environment Canada, the country’s meteorological institute, has issued the highest air quality warning in the capital city of Ottawa, saying it is at “very high risk” to health. In Toronto and the surrounding area, there is a “high risk”.
In the US, the National Weather Service has labeled the air quality of the states of Pennsylvania, New York and New England, among others, as “very unhealthy for everyone”. People with respiratory complaints are advised to stay indoors.
ReutersSmoke over Toronto from wildfires in Canada
Wildfires have been ravaging nature in Canada for weeks. In total, about 30,000 people had to leave their homes. The area, the size of Belgium, has been dealing with the forest fires for over a month.
Every year Canada has to deal with wildfires, but this year there are already a striking number. May is generally not the peak of the wildfire season.
“The fact that it burns so much is due to a combination of factors. There was little precipitation in the winter. As a result, the snow cover was not thick and the warm spring melted it off faster,” said climate scientist and professor Guido van der Werf of the VU University in Amsterdam earlier about the fires.
Still, these fires don’t say much about the rest of this year. “I am shocked by the size, but next year it could be different again. This does not mean that this year will be a record year. For example, 2020 was a very low fire year in Canada,” said the professor.
Forest fire the size of Belgium has been ravaging Canada for a month now