The devastating wildfires in Canada raging from the western provinces to Atlantic Canada have displaced more than 20,000 people and scorched about 3.8 million hectares of land prompting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to describe this wildfire season as the country’s worst ever.
Smoke from Canadian wildfires poured into the U.S. East Coast and Midwest on June 7, covering the capitals of both nations in an unhealthy haze, holding up flights at major airports and prompting people to fish out pandemic-era face masks.
The causes and consequences of this wildfire on our environment is a huge cause for concern. According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO), there is a greater chance that global warming will rise above the threshold levels of 1.5°C. UN has even warned that the next five years will be the hottest ever. Will climate change be mankind’s apocalyptic story that concludes in extinction?
Compiled by Joe Mammen John
A smoke column rises from wildfire EWF031 near Lodgepole, Alberta, Canada on May 4, 2023. Canada is seeing its worst-ever start to wildfire season as blazes burn from the western provinces to Atlantic Canada.
View from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada hang over the Philadelphia skyline in Pennsylvania, U.S. on June 8, 2023. Smoke from Canadian wildfires have shrouded the US East Coast in a record-breaking smog, forcing cities to issue air pollution warnings and thousands of Canadians to evacuate their homes.
The Statue of Liberty is covered in haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada, in New York, U.S. on June 6, 2023. The polluted air can cause degradation of monuments due to the corrosive nature of the pollutants involved.
Climate activists, seen through fumes, protest while smoke and haze caused by wildfires in Canada pass through New York, in New York, U.S., June 8, 2023. The present predicament looming over U.S. and Canada have slowly but surely opened the eyes of the people to the realities of climate change and the vagaries of nature.
Traffic crosses the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada hang over the Philadelphia skyline in Pennsylvania, U.S. on June 8, 2023. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which increases global warming and subsequent disaster events.
A general view of Citizens Bank Park during hazy conditions due to wildfires in Canada on June 7, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game between the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies has been postponed because of unsafe air quality in the area.
A view of The Lincoln Memorial shrouded in haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada, in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2023.
This combination of pictures created on June 08, 2023 shows (L) a woman walking around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, February 1, 2021, and (R) people walking in Central Park as smoke from wildfires in Canada cause hazy conditions in New York City on June 7, 2023.
A plane prepares to land into Newark Liberty International Airport amid hazy conditions due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires on June 8, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. Many flights were delayed and even cancelled as smoke from Canada’s wildfires continued to limit visibility.
A boat sails along the East River, as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada blanket New York City, New York, U.S. on June 7, 2023.
Workers finish tending a street lamp as smoke from Canadian wildfires obscures the view of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on June 8, 2023. The haze from the wildfires is taking its toll on outdoor workers along the Eastern U.S. who carried on with their jobs even as dystopian orange skies forced the cancellation of sports events, school field trips and Broadway plays.
This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken on June 7, 2023, at 2:20 p.m. and provided by CSU/CIRA & NOAA, shows a broad view of smoke from Canadian wildfires drifting across the Midwest and Northeast of the United States.
People on the East River promenade are framed by the hazy Brooklyn waterfront skyline and the Manhattan bridge on June 8, 2023, in New York. Air pollution from Canadian wildfires are cloaking the northeastern U.S. for a second day. Studies in people have linked wildfire smoke with higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac arrests, increases in respiratory conditions, and weakened immune defenses.
People wear protective masks as the Roosevelt Island Tram crosses the East River while haze and smoke from the Canadian wildfires shroud the Manhattan skyline in the Queens Borough New York City, U.S. on June 7, 2023. The particulate matter from the smoke could become a major threat to the vulnerable groups.
Smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and the National Mall in Washington, U.S. on June 7, 2023.
People cross the street wearing masks as an air quality health advisory was issued in New York on June 7, 2023. COVID masks, such as the N-95 masks, are back as Canadian wildfires fill the skies with smoke.
This combination picture shows the city skyline on a clear day on May 23, 2022 and shrouded by haze from Canadian wildfires smoke (bottom), as seen from the Bushwick neighborhood, in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S. on June 6, 2023.
Smoke from the Tantallon wildfire rises over houses in nearby Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 28, 2023.
This May 31, 2023, aerial image courtesy of the Nova Scotia Government in Canada, shows the magnitude of the fire in Shelburne County. Firefighters on May 31, faced a grueling uphill battle against wildfires in Canada's Nova Scotia province, including one threatening suburbs of Halifax. Federal help was coming, officials said, along with firefighters from the United States. "We're in a crisis in the province and we want and we need and we will take all the support we can get," Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston told a news conference. "These fires are unprecedented."
In this aerial image, collapsed bridge between the Clyde River and Port Clyde as wildfires burn in Nova Scotia on May 31, 2023. The fires stop for none as they ravage through the land destroying everything within their reach.
A firefighter directs water on a grass fire burning on an acreage behind a residential property in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, on June 5, 2023. Firefighters in Canada are trying their best to contain and limit the spread of the fires.
Smoke rises from a wildfire in the Donnie Creek Complex southeast of Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada on May 27, 2023. The devastating fires have displaced more than 20,000 people and caused the destruction of many buildings.
Smoke covers the road as wildfire burns in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 28, 2023 in this screengrab obtained from a social media video. The danger of car accidents and the possibility of even vehicles getting on fire is high during wildfires.
In this May 30, 2023, image courtesy of the Nova Scotia Government in Canada, firefighters with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency work to put out fires in the Tantallon area of Nova Scotia. More than 16,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Canada's eastern province of Nova Scotia, officials said Monday, as one of hundreds of wildfires raging across the country threatened the city of Halifax.
A burnt metal sign hangs from a tree, damaged from the wildfires, in Drayton Valley southwest of Edmonton, Alberta, on May 17, 2023. The devastating fires have scorched about 3.8 million hectares (9,390,005 acres) of land.
Firefighters stand on a Kamloops Fire Rescue truck at a wildfire near Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada on May 14, 2023. Kamloops.
Firefighting aircraft are lined up during efforts to tackle wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area near Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada on May 15, 2023.
Smoke is seen as some 90 wildfires, including 23 out of control, are active in the province according to the provincial government, in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada on May 16, 2023.
Property owner Adam Norris surveys the damage at his home caused by the fires outside the town of Drayton, Alberta, on May 8 2023. The damages done to homes, personal property, animals are quite extensive and if this is a recurring occurrence/disaster, it could permanently affect people ‘s livelihood.
Firefighters return to retrieve more gear while tackling the Deep Creek Wildfire Complex near Entwistle, Alberta, Canada on May 15, 2023. President Biden has said that the U.S. has sent more than 600 firefighters to help Canda fight the raging wildfires
Burned farming equipment is seen following fires in Shining Bank, Alberta, Canada on May 11, 2023. Many ranchers stayed behind to care for livestock as neighbours fled wildfires that ravaged Canada's Alberta province this week, all they could do was open corral gates and hope their abandoned cows found their own way to safety.
Members from the 3rd Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry participate in wildfire prevention operations near Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada on May 12, 2023. Many nations such as South Africa are sending their firefighters to help Canada.
A Canadair CL-415 aircraft drops water during the presentation of the 2023 plan to fight against wildfires, at Nimes-Garons airbase, France on April 25, 2023. Even with adequate preparations the wildfires this year in Canada was “unprecedented” and according to President Trudeau one of the worst ever in the country’s history.
View of the One World Trade Center tower and the skyline of lower Manhattan in New York City shortly after sunrise as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada hangs over the area, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S., June 8, 2023. A new sunrise of hope rises on New York and on the world facing an increasing threat of climate change. Can we save ourselves before it’s too late?