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.

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

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists showcase a range of mediums

“Into the Forest” will feature everything from watercolours to quilting

Divers explore the deeps of Sproat Lake using vintage equipment

Heritage Hard Hat Divers will have a maritime heritage exhibit in Port Alberni

EDITORIAL: In face of tough week, Port Alberni first responders deserve our respect

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley…

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Forestry and legumes shippers say railways prioritized other commodities

Companies say they lost millions on Port of Vancouver shipments

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

New food guide addresses ‘elephant’ in the room – alcohol

Experts welcomed the tougher stance on an issue they say demands a co-ordinated strategy

Most Read