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How Canada’s Record Wildfires Got So Bad, So Fast

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Wildfires in Canada have burned a staggering 25 million acres so far this year, an area roughly the size of Kentucky. With more than a month of peak fire season left to go, 2023 has already eclipsed Canada’s previous annual record from 1989, when over 18 million acres were scorched. And the country’s worst wildfire season on record continues to rage.

Acres Burned by Wildfires in Canada

Source: Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre

Total acres burned from January through December each year.

By Nadja Popovich

Hot, dry conditions have fueled widespread wildfires, mostly in Canada’s boreal forests, since the spring, with some of the largest blazes burning in Northwest Canada and Quebec. The fires have forced more than 120,000 people to evacuate their homes, stretched firefighting resources thin and repeatedly darkened the skies and polluted the air for millions of people across North America.

“What is kind of extraordinary this year is that the fire season started early and in multiple areas at the same time,” said Jennifer Kamau, a spokeswoman for the…

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