May 22, 2023
Wildfires that forced over 29,000 people to leave their homes in western Canada, are blowing thick smoke into the US. The smoke is triggering air quality alerts in several states.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment told people not to go outside over the weekend because of the smoke in Denver and other parts of the state. The National Weather Service said that the air quality is bad in all of Montana, and some parts of Arizona and Idaho, as well as Colorado.
The fires have stopped some gas and oil production in a place called the "Texas of the North."
Firefighters have been very busy over the weekend. That's because there are over 90 wildfires still burning in Alberta. A quarter of these fires are out of control. This year, firefighters in Alberta have fought 496 fires that have burned over 2 million acres. Last year, the fires burned 1,100 acres.
Christie Tucker is an Alberta Wildfire information officer. She told reporters on Saturday that, "This year's total is nearly 2,000 times last year."
Most of the fires have burned forests. But about 275 buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Nobody has died yet. However, a 33-year-old firefighter who lost his house to a fire is now in a coma. He got hit in the head by a burned tree.
Officials hope that it will rain this week to help the firefighters.
Tucker said they would like to see a long-steady rain. "That will help us more than a short burst that would bring lightning and could spark a new wildfire."
Reflect: What are some ways that people and governments can prevent wildfires or reduce their impact?
Pixels on Fire
In this lesson, students will examine how NASA remotely detects wildfires from space, how they display satellite data about the Earth's climate, and information about three Californian wildfires of the 21st century.
Colors of Conservation
This coloring book includes a series of Southern California and Northern Baja animals that are threatened by climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, land use changes, and wildfires.
Beaver Dams and Wildfire, a Stop-Motion Demonstration
This brief stop-motion video illustrates how beaver dams have the ability to change their surrounding environment, particularly in ways that can slow the spread of wildfires.