Canadian Wildfires Pt 1

Canadian Wildfires Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. We’re again hearing stories about wildfire smoke drifting south from Canada to American cities. And if you listen to the evening news, climate change is often blamed for this phenomenon.

But, University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor, Cliff Mass says the Canadian fires aren’t really that unusual …

MASS … “It has happened before. In fact, in the Boreal Forest area, May is the big month, historically. In fact, I did a blog about this, and I even gave some of the dates. It so happens that May is a big month for fires there.”

But Mass says we don’t always hear about them …

MASS … “And it makes complete sense that May is the month because what happens is they’re coming out of winter, from the previous year there’s all these grasses that grew. They had died over the winter, and all of the sudden you start warming up and all of these grasses, the snow is off of them, they dry out quickly and they’re very flammable. And so, all you need is some lightening or some people starting it and you get these big fires.”

Which happens, Mass says from time to time …

MASS … “Actually, May is the most frequent month for fires in Alberta, to give you an example. And so, yeah, it’s not that unusual to get these fires.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the Canadian wildfire smoke and why it came here.

Check out for more of Cliff’s perspective on weather matters.

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