Enter Banff to save it from Canada’s wildfires

But across Alberta, the impact of last year’s record fire season was “huge,” said Katherine Severson, director of emergency services for the Town of Banff.

The growing number of fires in sparsely populated areas of Canada are affecting not only neighboring communities, but also remote communities, with the resulting thick smoke reaching as far as southern Canada and the United States.

“Now it’s commonplace: Every day, cities and towns are deciding whether they can have outdoor activities because of the smoke,” Severson said.

Last year, wildfires burned 18.5 million hectares, or 46 million hectares of land in Canada, more than double the previous record set twenty years ago, and sending smoke up to ‘in Europe. Fires are spreading uncontrollably across the country, not only in the Western provinces where fires are common, but also in Quebec and the Maritimes, where fires of this magnitude are rare.

This spring, much of Alberta is facing drought conditions. In the Rocky Mountains, snow amounts are “very low,” he said. Jean Pomeroya hydrologist based near Banff and director Global Water Security Institute.

Lonnie Kimmons

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