This is a guest post by Jens Wieting, forest and climate campaigner with Sierra Club B.C.
The wildfires currently raging uncontrolled in Alberta are not within the range of what’s normal.
As of May 29, 854,984 hectares have burned this year in Canada, mostly Alberta — almost 10 times the 25-year-average amount of forest lost to fire annually (89,391 hectares).
And summer hasn't even started.
Warm temperatures and low humidity mean that, for the time being, there is no end in sight. A similar situation is taking shape in British Columbia.
The correlation between higher average temperatures and wildfires in Canada has been well-researched, but the extremes now underway still come as a shock. Leading climate scientists have compared the urgent need to prevent further overheating of our planet to a person with a dangerously high fever. Our body temperature is normally about 37 degrees. If it increases by two degrees to 39, you have fever. If it goes over 41, you might die.