Record-breaking 10 million hectares of land burned in Canada's wildfires

Published July 16, 2023 1:23 p.m. ET

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Canada has reached an unprecedented milestone: 10 million hectares of land has burned by wildfires.

This is just under the size of the island of Newfoundland, not including Labrador, data from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) shows.

This year is the most land ever burned by wildfires in Canada's history, data from Natural Resources Canada shows.

Previous metrics peg the highest number of hectares burned in 1989 with approximately 7.6 million hectares. This was over the course of the entire year. Canadian officials said earlier this month this year's season was about halfway done.

An early start to wildfires with unseasonable dry and hot temperatures has sparked about 880 fires across the country.

The CIFFC says the majority of blazes are now in Western Canada, and British Columbia has the greatest number with 376 active fires, as of July 16.

This year is well above the average, data shows.

The average area burned in a wildfire season is around 2.1 million hectares with about 8.000 fires. But current fires are burning much larger. In 2023, while the number of hectares is five times higher than the average, there are roughly half the number of fires.


With files from The Canadian Press.

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