Boreal forests in America fire more often than in 60 years ago
Numerous forest fires broke out in western Canada in early May 2023 as a result of unseasonably hot and dry weather.
It also happens in the US as crews fought a bush fire in Weare.
Consequently, approximately 30,000 people had to be evacuated, and as of May 6, the Alberta government declared a state of emergency due to wildfires.
Though it is still too early to judge this extraordinary episode precisely, current research has made it possible to put it in a wider context.
But first, let’s find out what may cause a forest fire.
North America’s boreal forests are burning a lot
Factors to Cause Forest Fires
Forest fires are caused by many factors, one of the most determining ones is the weather.
Environments may become more prone to burning as a result of climate change. Wildfires can be sparked by the intensifying heat and drought brought on by climate change.
More moisture is evaporated from soil and plants by hotter temperatures, which dries out trees, bushes, and grasses and makes kindling out of leaf litter and discarded limbs.
Trees that are under stress from a lack of water may become more susceptible to insects and illnesses that can weaken or kill them, providing more fuel for fires, during a drought.
Additionally, snowpacks in the western United States are getting smaller and melting earlier in the year, which increases the flammability of forests by lowering the water available for vegetation.
Boreal Fire Forests in North America
Boreal forests in North America
Several million hectares of boreal woods in North America can burn down in a single year.
On the other hand, for a number of years in a row, these forest fires may appear to be hardly noticeable. Forest fires now affect a larger area each year than they did 60 years ago, most likely as a result of climate change.
Or at the very least, that explains part of it.
Despite that, it is necessary to step back to properly comprehend the long-term trends.
One study's findings go counter to the conventional idea that North American boreal forests burned more frequently in the past than they do today.
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