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Canada can expect to see more intense wildfires in the future: scientist

Posted on Feb 23, 2012

Canadians can anticipate more intense wildfires that are too difficult to stop using traditional fire fighting techniques, according to Mike Flannigan, a senior research scientist with Natural Resources Canada.

Flannigan presented his team’s latest research in Vancouver at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“It’s going to be incredibly difficult in the future to manage forest fires because the intensity of forest fires is going to be increasing,” Flannigan is quoted as saying by PostMedia News.

Flannigan predicted two to three times more fire activity in the northern hemisphere by the end of the century. “Virtually all of Russia, Canada, the U.S.” will be affected, PostMedia quotes him as saying, adding that his analysis represented a conservative estimate.

PostMedia further reported that Flannigan used global climate models to predict fire severity around the globe between 2070 and 2090. He said forests in most of the northern hemisphere will not only become drier as temperatures rise, but there is likely to be more lightening to spark fires, Munro reported.

“So the risk to life and infrastructure is only going to increase under climate change,” he is quoted as saying