Canadian Wildfires: The Urgent Need To Address Climate Change

Forest destruction and toxic smoke envelop cities; this is the current state of most Canadian provinces due to their recent wildfires. Canada experiences wildfires annually, but what they faced this year was far more widespread and intense, and there have been far more occurrences than usual. The wildfires demolished over 4.7 million hectares of land, resulting in significant environmental damage. The toxic smoke has also affected cities, creating poor air quality and many health risks for residents.

Why are the Canadian wildfires happening?

Wildfires typically occur due to two main factors: climate conditions or human negligence. These incidents predominantly occur during the summertime when the ground is dry. They can initiate from a lightning strike. They also occur due to human negligence, such as an unsupervised campfire. Recently, climate change has played a significant role in the increased frequency of wildfires. Long periods of hot weather and droughts that result from climate change make the environmental conditions more favorable for the rapid spread of wildfires. Rising temperatures lead to the soil being more likely to catch fire. Climate change can also alter weather patterns, resulting in changes to wind patterns. Stronger winds can cause the flames to fan out, causing the fire to spread rapidly and unpredictably. These strong winds can even carry burning coal over long distances that can start a new fire elsewhere.

What effects do Canadian wildfires have on Canada and the US? 

The wildfires have severely affected not only those living in Canada but also those in the United States. Smoke has spread from Canada to the northern states, especially the northeast. Areas such as Minnesota, Washington DC, and New York have put out public health alerts and strongly urged people to stay inside their homes and wear masks when going outside so they do not inhale toxic fire particles that are abundant in their air. Inhaling these particles detriments one’s health and can lead to lung and heart conditions. In addition, the fires have caused mass environmental damage, including forest and home destruction. The fires have caused forest destruction and forced people in affected areas to relocate. When wildfires occur, they can spread rapidly and envelop forests, destroying trees, vegetation, and the ecosystem leaving behind a charred landscape, making it unsuitable to be inhabited by many of its native species. Communities residing in or near the affected areas are to evacuate for safety. The immediate threat posed by the fire, including the risk of health conditions or death, is a prime reason for people to relocate. The aftermath of a wildfire can make the area uninhabitable due to hazards such as damaged infrastructure and lingering smoke that is fatal when consumed. People relocating now face the challenges of finding immediate shelter and access to living necessities. 

The recent string of Canadian wildfires has brought about significant environmental destruction, including forest demolition, toxic smoke, and the relocation of people. These wildfires shed light on the underlying cause, climate change, which amplifies the spread of wildfires and contributes to their frequent occurrence. Events like these stress the dire need to address these climate issues and prevent disasters like so from occurring again.

Works Cited

Alonso, Melissa. “Smoke from Canadian Fires Is Pouring into the US and Could Linger for Days.” CNN, 19 May 2023,

Coletta, Amanda, et al. “What to Know about the Canadian Wildfires Affecting Parts of the U.S.” Washington Post, 7 June 2023,

Livingston, Ian. “Analysis | Why Canada’s Wildfires Are Extreme and Getting Worse, in 4 Charts.” Washington Post, 12 June 2023,

News, A. B. C. “Canadian Wildfire Smoke Returns to Parts of the Midwest and Northeast.” ABC News, 5 June 2023,

O’Connor, Jack. “Experts Say Breathe Easy for Now, as Worsening Air Quality Is on the Horizon.” The Minnesota Daily, Accessed 27 June 2023.

Penney, Veronica, et al. “Find out Just How Bad Wildfire Smoke Has Been in Your Area.” Washington Post, 8 June 2023, Accessed 27 June 2023.