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Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:59 AM

2 New Studies Connect Ft. McMurray, BC Fires In 2016, 2017 To Collapsing Climate

As another extreme fire season starts with more people on the run, scientists say they're already seeing signs that climate change is playing a role again.

Recent fires have been connected to climate change in two separate research papers published earlier this year by scientists with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

In May 2016, a wildfire near Fort McMurray forced more than 80,000 people to flee the northern Alberta city, destroyed 2,400 buildings and burned nearly 6,000 square kilometres of forest. A year later, the fire season in British Columbia broke records as 2,117 blazes consumed more than 12,000 square kilometres of bush.

"We are seeing climate change in action," said University of Alberta wildland fire Prof. Mike Flannigan. "The Fort McMurray fire was 1 1/2 to six times more likely because of climate change. The 2017 record-breaking B.C. fire season was seven to 11 times more likely because of climate change."



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