BC Is Burning and Climate Change Is Making It Worse

During the peak wildfire season, hundreds of new fires were being reported every day, and the province struggled to get both the human and financial resources to keep up.

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Sep 30 2015, 3:36pm

At 10 percent of Canada's land surface, BC's landmass is immense, containing a large stretch of temperate rain forest along its Pacific coast. Some of the wettest places in North America are within the province—earning BC the nickname the "wet coast."

For the past decade, the province, including the rainforest, has been affected by the mild winters and drought-like conditions, which culminate in uncharacteristically long lasting fire seasons. This year has been the driest since 1893, when records started, which has lead to more and longer lasting wildfires. Experts are calling the province as a whole the canary in the coal mine.

During the peak wildfire season, hundreds of new fires were being reported every day, and the province struggled to get both the human and financial resources to keep up.

VICE heads to Oliver in the BC's interior to embed with fire crews and Boulder Creek in the coastal BC to look at how the wildfires have affected the fragile BC ecosystem—everything from air quality to the salmon migration have been touched. We talk to firefighters on the ground and in the air, trek through charred forests with environmental scientists, and discuss connections to the climate change with BC's climate experts and hear from activist David Suzuki who tells us "we don't even know enough to know if it's too late."