(One more page) Wildfires spread out of control in Canada… Last year’s nightmare repeats – Chosun Ilbo VRESP TODAY

A photo of a forest fire in Western Canada taken from the window of an aircraft in which British Columbia emergency medical personnel were evacuating patients from Fort Nelson, Canada, on Friday, May 10 (local time). /Reuters Yonhap News

As temperatures in Canada are expected to be higher than last year due to the El Niño phenomenon this spring and summer, the Canadian government’s concerns that large-scale forest fires may occur again are becoming a reality. The Canadian government has warned of another ‘catastrophe’ wildfire season, saying that with heat and dryness across the country, the season could start earlier and end later.

Since the 13th (local time), more than 100 large-scale forest fires have broken out in British Columbia in western Canada, bordering the United States, and the damage area is expanding to the east. About 40 wildfires have broken out in Alberta, east of British Columbia, and are continuing to spread, covering the northern United States with smoke.

This forest fire has already grown into a large-scale forest fire that is out of control, and evacuation orders for residents are being issued in various places.

In Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, the sky turned red due to dangerous air quality, and an air quality warning was issued for most of Wisconsin, including Minnesota, USA. Canada and the United States are worried that the nightmare of ‘worst air quality’ experienced last year due to Canadian forest fires will be repeated.

Foreign media reported on the 14th (local time) that wildfires in western Canada, spreading out of control, threatened McMurray, an oil production base city in Alberta, and that 6,000 residents living in surrounding villages were ordered to evacuate. Fort McMurray is the hub of Canada’s oil sands, producing approximately 3.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, equivalent to two-thirds of Canada’s total.

Last year’s World Air Quality Report by Switzerland-based IQAIR ranked Yellowknife in northern Canada as one of the most polluted regions in North America. It was revealed that this was the effect of a large-scale fire that occurred in Yeroknife, Canada last summer.

According to data released by Canada’s Forest Fire Joint Center, the number of forest fires that occurred in Canada last year reached 6,551, and the area damaged by forest fires exceeded 10 times the area in 2022. At the time, eight firefighters died and 230,000 residents had to evacuate.

Smoke rises from a Grande Prairie forest area near TeePee Creek in Alberta, Canada, May 10, 2024. /Reuters Yonhap News

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