Explained: How the extreme heat wave killed over 300 in Canada as wildfires rage on
New Delhi | Jagran World Desk: In the backdrop of the North America’s most extreme heat wave in modern history, parts of western Canada are reported to have been “devastated” by wildfires. This comes a day after Canada’s British Columbia recorded country’s highest ever temperature of all time on Tuesday at 49.6°C.
British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan said in a media briefing that Canada is facing a “catastrophic fire season” as dozens of deaths were recorded in 24-hour period between Monday and Tuesday this week. Authorities said that the worst may be yet to come.
230 dead in British Columbia, 79 in Oregon: Official figures
Reports in the Canadian media have claimed that between June 25 to June 29, “hundreds are believed to have died” in the interior Northwest and western Canada. The death toll in the state of British Columbia alone has been reported to have reached 230 as of Wednesday. In the Oregon state, 79 deaths have been attributed to the heat wave by the authorities as of Wednesday.
A report in the Associated Press quoted weather experts as saying that the heat waves are only likely to rise in the Pacific Northwest, a region usually sustaining cool and rainy weather with a few hot and sunny days in a year.
Canada’s British Columbia: From extreme heat wave to extreme wildfires
According to Yale University’s Climate Connection tracker, the Lytton town in British Columbia broke Canada’s all-time national high temperature of 45 degrees Celsius with a temperature rise to 46.6°C on Sunday, June 27. The next day temperature rose to 47.9°C and peaked on Tuesday till 49.6°C.
The intense heat wave sparked fires in the now dried out forests, as wildfires took the parts of British Columbia by storm by June 30. “The whole town is on fire,” Lytton Mayer Jan Polderman told CBS News in an interview.
Dry Thunderstorms made the matters worse
Following the massive forest fires that took over the Western Canadian skies, just within a matter of 15-hours over 700,000 intracloud and cloud to ground lightning flashes were reported. Following this wildfires have just got worse than earlier with authorities scrambling to evacuate the populations.
“This is the most anomalous regional extreme heat event to occur anywhere on Earth since temperature records began. Nothing can compare,” Weather historian Christopher Burt, author of the book “Extreme Weather”, was quoted as saying by Yale Climate Connections.
Climate change behind extreme weather events: Experts
Experts have cited unprecedented exploitation of fossil fuels along with overuse of non-renewable source of energy for unprecedented rise in the heat wave in Northwest Canada this year. Scientists add that the heat wave is a sign of the climate crisis, and similar “extreme heat events” will happen more frequently in the future.
Posted By: Mukul Sharma