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03

Dec

Is It Safe to Travel to Canada Right Now with the Wildfires?

Canada is having a record-breaking wildfire season, with an astounding 4,241-wildland fires breaking out since the beginning of 2023. More than 12 million hectares of land has burned so far, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center (CIFFC), which mobilizes firefighting resources across the country.

In June, the majority of fires were impacting the eastern provinces, with more than 14,000 people evacuated in Quebec province alone. As of the end of July, the fires in the east are largely contained, but British Columbia, on the west coast, is now seeing an increase, with 440 active fires. Three hikers were rescued from the summit of Mount Bruce in southeastern B.C. by a passing tour helicopter Monday after a fire started on the peak.

Sadly, the end is nowhere in sight. Canada’s wildland fire season typically continues into October, and 1,074 fires are currently active coast to coast.

“Since the start of the season, we’ve experienced hot, dry, and windy conditions in many parts of the country,” says Jennifer Kamau, communications manager for CIFFC, of the conducive conditions. “We expect these conditions to persist.”

Yet there is a silver lining: the vast majority of Canada’s epic national park system has been untouched by wildland fires. Besides British Columbia, the majority of active fires are in the remote northern sections of Canada—such as the Northwest Territories and Nunavut —while most units in its national park system run along the south and central portions of each province.

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