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.