Canada

Wildfire season starts in Alberta

EDMONTON —
Snow may still be on the ground, but wildfire season has officially started in Alberta.

2020 was one of the quietest fire season in the last half-a-century, but 2019 was one of the busiest with numerous large blazes.

Experts say it’s nearly impossible to predict what is in store for this year.

It all depends on day to day weather and how hot, dry and windy conditions are coupled with how many Albertans are out camping after a locked down winter.

“Last year people staying at home may have helped the first situation cause they weren’t starting fires,” said Mike Flannigan with the University of Alberta.

“This year with vaccinations and everyone is tired of covid, I expect a more normal fire season for human ignitions.”

Flannigan says the central part of Alberta has had average to below-average amounts of snowfall while the northern portions had average to above-average amounts.

“The snow is starting to disappear rapidly now, we could be starting fire season soon.”

Last year 88 per cent of the wildfires were started by humans.

Wildfire season in Alberta runs until Oct. 31.


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