Smoke from the massive Canadian wildfires rampaging through its provinces and territories has engulfed the East Coast of the United States, and environmentalists who have opposed sound forest management are being blamed by many for it.
Over a dozen states in the U.S. have been affected, with more than 100 million people living in areas where air quality alerts have been issued. Some opinions stated that breathing in the smoke in New York City for 24 hours equated to smoking 22 cigarettes. Tuesday’s Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox was postponed due to the haze hanging over The Bronx.
Check out this almost unbelievable time-lapse of wildfire smoke consuming the World Trade Center and the New York City skyline.
Those vulnerable to poor air quality, including seniors and young children, should limit time outdoors if possible.
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) June 7, 2023
BREAKING: Philadelphia now has the worst air quality in any major city in the world as smoke from wildfires in Canada is moving through the region. https://t.co/cjEL3Q5WXR
— CBS Philadelphia (@CBSPhiladelphia) June 8, 2023
You can smell the smoke from wildfires burning in Quebec all the way in Windsor. Here’s a hazy look at the Detroit skyline. pic.twitter.com/cu9W4zN3hc
— Travis Fortnum (@travisfortnum) June 6, 2023
Yet another day of poor air quality is anticipated today, primarily due to lingering wildfire smoke in the area. Those with chronic respiratory illnesses should limit their time outdoors. Visit https://t.co/N5S58sVQNn for additional information. #ilwx #inwx pic.twitter.com/0AiUuWNeZG
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) June 5, 2023
More than 400 wildfires are reportedly burning in Canada, where critics say bad forest management driven by misguided environmentalism has wreaked havoc.
“The situation in Canada is similar to that in Australia, where green ideology and chronic government underfunding mean that the forests currently ablaze have not been managed properly for years,” Miranda Devine noted in The New York Post. “Instead of dead wood and undergrowth being removed regularly using low-intensity controlled or “prescribed” burns, forests have become overgrown tinderboxes.”
“High-intensity wildfires can be mitigated with PROACTIVE FOREST MANAGEMENT. People need to ask, are policies inhibiting this in Canada? What measures are in effect? “ Gabriella Hoffman of Townhall tweeted.
High-intensity wildfires can be mitigated with PROACTIVE FOREST MANAGEMENT. People need to ask, are policies inhibiting this in Canada? What measures are in effect?
Here at home, your administration is slow to act and you conveniently use climate boogeyman. https://t.co/6AQLdFo6pX
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) June 7, 2023
Jim Steele, an ecologist who served as director of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada field campus, warned against those attributing the fires to climate change.
“I do not feel the media is educating us about the science that affects fires,” he said. They’re just trying to push a catastrophe narrative that’s been going on way too long.”
“Canada’s forests have not been in a natural state for a long time. Fire suppression has led to forests full of deadfall, which is basically kindling,” The Globe and Mail editorial board warned in July 2021. “Widespread wildfires have become too common, as a result of decades of decisions around fire suppression, logging and replanting, made worse by the punch of climate heating. Forest fires cannot be prevented. But tools are available to mitigate and contain the damage.”
As far back as 2016, Mark Heathcott, who coordinated controlled burns for Parks Canada for 23 years, warned, “A lot of lip service is paid to it but very few agencies do it. People don’t understand the benefit of fire.”
Heathcott supervised controlled burns at Banff National Park, where his team would take months to assess a site. They would consult the local town, wait for prime moisture and wind conditions, then light a match or fuse or coordinate with a pilot for ignition capsules to be dropped, making the perimeter of an area burn inward. “These things aren’t slapdash plans,” Heathcott said. “Nobody ever wants to relinquish control of fire and have it burning willy-nilly on the landscape.”