Canada’s emergency preparedness minister says images of wildfires burning across the country are some of the most severe ever witnessed in Canada and the current forecast for the next few months indicates the potential for continued higher-than-normal fire activity.
Bill Blair and six other federal cabinet ministers provided an update Monday on Canada’s wildfire situation, even as smoke from fires north and west of the city covered Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower in a grey haze.
The BC Wildfire Service says the Donnie Creek wildfire, which has grown to more than 2,400 square kilometres in size, is now considered the second largest in provincial history, while Nova Scotia’s largest ever wildfire continues to burn out of control.
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for a large section of southern Ontario, with the agency warning of high levels of air pollution as a result of smoke plumes from local forest fires as well as forest fires in Quebec.
As of late Monday afternoon, 424 fires were burning across Canada, more than 250 of which are considered out of control.
A new fire risk forecast shows that risk remains well above average in parts of every province and territory except Newfoundland and Labrador, where the risk in most of Labrador is still above average, while the risk in Newfoundland is just average.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2023.