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You are here News Environment Canada wildfires never stopped, they just went underground as "zombie fires" smolder on through the winter

Canada wildfires never stopped, they just went underground as "zombie fires" smolder on through the winter

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Canada wildfiresCanada's 2023 wildfire season was the most destructive ever recorded, with 6,551 fires scorching nearly 71,000 square miles of land from the West Coast to the Atlantic provinces, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center. It wasn't just remarkable for its destruction, however, but also for the fact that it never really seemed to end.

It's the middle of the winter, and there are still 149 active wildfires burning across Canada, including 92 in British Columbia, 56 in the western province of Alberta, and one in New Brunswick, according to the CIFFC, which classifies two of the blazes as out of control.

"Zombie fires," also called overwintering fires, burn slowly below the surface during the cold months. Experts say zombie fires have become more common as climate change warms the atmosphere, and they are currently smoldering at an alarming rate in both British Columbia and Alberta.


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