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

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

College of New Caledonia wants public’s input on budget

A public consultation will be held Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. at Vanderhoof Campus

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Most Read