|Tantallon Area - June 2023 (c)shaunlowe|
The last couple of weeks have been tough for tree lovers in Nova Scotia. Images of the wildfires and all the related carnage have been very disturbing.
This post tries to put it into some perspective with a few suggestions for the future.
What's the big deal about wildfires this year?
In a word ... SIZE.
From 2012 to 2021, the average amount of land burned by wildfires for all of Nova Scotia each year was about 4.5 square kilometers (ie: about the size of two Bayer's Lake Business Parks)
So far this year, wildfires have burned over 252 square kilometers, the equivalent of over 110 Bayer's Lake Business Parks.
The impact on humans and all living things has been enormous and will take a long time to tally.
Why were the wildfires so large this year?
There are at least three reasons:
1- MOISTURE : normally Nova Scotia is a pretty wet place. Not this year. There was very little snow pack and little rain in April and May.
2- TEMPERATURE/WIND : April and May were quite windy but on the cool side ... until the end of the May when temperatures shot up into the 30Cs accompanied by very strong winds for several days.
3- HUMANS : we Nova Scotians love our fires. And just about all wildfires in Nova Scotia are started by humans
The wildfire trend is not our friend.
In 2022, Nova Scotia wildfires burned almost 8 times more than the previous 10 year average.
In 2023 (so far), wildfires have burned almost 8 times more than last year.
Are the last two years an anomaly, or is this the new "normal"?
So what can we do moving forward?
We can't do anything to change the weather, but we can be more proactive about wildfire conditions. A couple of things come to mind:
- tighter limits on burning restrictions and woods travel during the peak wildfire season
- promote 911 to report all wildfires and suspiciious activity
- wildfire alerts thru the provincial emergency alert network
- public flogging of anyone caught deliberating starting a wildfire (opps, just because you think it doesn't mean you should write it down)
* * * * *
Many, many thanks to everyone that helped deal with the wildfires. And to everyone who was affected, my heartfelt sympathies.
Thanks to Shaun Lowe (@shaunlowe) for permission to repost his image and video.
More Info :
Nova Scotia Wildfire Dashboard : https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/91c63783cbd74699a0b46fbd2965ca58
Nova Scotia's Natural Resources and Renewables Wildfire Resource : https://novascotia.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/