Media Releases

Dry Winter and Warm Spring Set Stage for Canadian Inferno

May 6, 2016

New York Times | May. 5, 2016

A relatively dry El Niño winter, a warm spring that melted snow earlier and years of policies that left forests ripe for burning have contributed to the destructive wildfire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray in Alberta. An earlier melt means that sunlight hits the forest floor sooner, so the underbrush has more time to dry and becomes easier to ignite, said David Martell, a forestry professor at the University of Toronto. Read more.