Researchers determined that the extreme summer temperatures during the 2017 British Columbia forest fire season were made over twenty times more likely by human-induced climate change. Extreme high temperatures combined with dry conditions increase the likelihood of wildfire ignition and spread. (Photo BC Wildfire Service)

Study finds human impact played major role in 2017 wildfire season

1.2 million hectares burned in 2017 set a record, only to be surpassed in 2018

Human influences played a major role in B.C.’s 2017 wildfire season and significantly increased the risk of wildfires, says a study by research scientists from the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at the University of Victoria and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The study, which compared two scenarios in climate simulations – one with realistic amounts of human influence on the climate and one with minimal human influence – found that the extreme summer temperatures during the 2017 B.C. forest fire season were made more than 20 times more likely by human-induced climate change.

RELATED: B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

Researchers found that the extreme high temperatures combined with dry conditions increase the likelihood of wildfire ignition and spread.

The 1.2 million hectares burned in 2017 set a record – only to be surpassed in 2018. Through their research, the scientists concluded that the area burned was seven to 11 times larger than would have been expected without human influences on the climate. The scientists also found this is a trend that is likely to intensify in the future, without further action.

RELATED: Ignoring climate change poses potential catastrophe for B.C.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the extreme 2017 forest fire season in B.C. caused 65,000 people to be displaced from their homes, and millions to be exposed to smoke-filled air harmful to human health.

“As the climate continues to warm, we can expect that costly extreme wildfire seasons – like 2017 in B.C. – will become more likely in the future. This will have increasing impacts on many sectors, including forest management, public health, and infrastructure,” said Megan Kirchmeier-Young, research scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

North Cowichan will host new permanent rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

Firefighters save two dogs in Oak Bay house fire

Home saved, but residents have been displaced

‘It’s just hair:’ Central Saanich woman chops her locks for Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids BC will receive two 12-inch braids from Brentwood Bay resident Liza Glynn

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tilray announces multimillion-dollar deal with U.S. marketing company

Nanaimo-based cannabis producer to partner with Authentic Brands Group

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Most Read