How we predict and manage fire – and why it matters

A coniferous forest shrouded in smoke

By Naeema Bhyat, guest contributor With Canada’s wide expanses of forest, grasslands and shrublands, wildfires have always been part of our landscape. But as more Canadians experience eerie, smoky skies and a dull orange sun, these fires loom larger in the public’s imagination. Events like the 2016 wildfire that tore through Fort McMurray, Alberta and […]

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How does wildfire smoke affect our health?

By Michael Limmena, Health, Medicine & Veterinary Science editor The year 2021 was one of British Columbia’s biggest wildfire seasons in our lifetimes. Between April and September of that year, the province saw about 1,600 wildfires that burned approximately 8,700 square kilometres. Although the wildfires occurred in BC, the smoke from the wildfires spread throughout […]

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After the fire: What forest recovery looks like in 2020

fortherock, CC BY-SA 2.0

Jenna Finley, Biology and Life Sciences editor The bushfires in Australia have dominated the news cycle since they started in September 2019. As of January 20th, 2020, over 10 million hectares have burned, killing an estimated one billion animals and about thirty people. Although it may seem bleak at the moment, we have to assume […]

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It’s raining red: Why use of chemical fire retardants is on the rise


Kira Hoffman, General Sciences editor If you drove through central British Columbia in the late summer of 2017, it would have been hard to miss the charred trees and blackened landscapes. B.C. experienced its worst wildfire season on record, with fires burning over 1.2 million hectares of forests throughout the province. In some places, interface […]

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Climate change, fire, and their implications for species

Tanya Samman and Alina C. Fisher, Environmental & Earth Sciences Co-editors The role of fire in forest ecosystems Forest fires are powerful and devastating. But they are also necessary for the rejuvenation of some ecosystems. Many plants are well-adapted to fire; some trees have dense bark or shed lower limbs to help them survive fire […]

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