Northwest Territories Fires
The Disaster: As the planet warms, there are more massive fire events each year, but none as big as the ones raging across Canada’s largely uninhabited Northwest Territories. During the past summer, 186 wildfires sparked by lightning strikes burned in apocalyptic scenes usually associated with Hollywood productions. Over 1 million acres burned — an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, and the fires could be seen from space. Soot from the fires was reported as far away as Colorado and Pennsylvania.
State of Recovery: All fires are out, but this fire season was six times larger than average and devastated boreal forests across the region. As the permafrost thaw line moves steadily northward due to global warming, scientists expect to see more large-scale fires in the north.
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