Here’s Why Canada’s Forest Fires Aren’t Being Stopped

( – More smoke from the Canadian wildfires has made its way to the U.S., affecting more than 100 million people from Wisconsin to Vermont, as well as all the way down to North Carolina. The air quality was expected to improve over the July 4 weekend.

The additional waves of smoke come as more than 500 wildfires across the Canadian wilderness continue to burn. Some of the fires are so severe and uncontrollable, that authorities have determined they have no choice but to let them burn.

At least 10 countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and France have sent additional help and personnel to assist Canada in putting out the fires.

Many in the scientific community are also warning of the increased effects of climate change, which are said to be having an effect on the intensity of the wild fires.

Another reason for why many of the wildfires continue to burn uninhibited is due to many of them being located in remote areas that are hard for firefighters to access. The fires burning in the Northwestern part of Canada’s Quebec province, for example, are simply too out of control to do anything about.

Additionally, different provinces have different guidelines for how to handle wildfires based on their own geography, which may offer different guidance regarding which fires to put out and which to leave alone.

Canadian wildland fire ecologist Robert Gray told CNN that when limited resources are available, the first priority is to protect human life, which may only mean combatting the fires insofar as that means keeping them away from population areas.

Gray also emphasized the impact of firefighters from other countries helping Canada’s efforts to control the fires, saying that Canada does not have access to a lot of firefighting resources, as the individual provinces only seem to have their own contracting crews. He also said that Canada would benefit from better wildfire prevention measures, such as starting “prescribed” fires that burn a select amount of forests to prevent larger, more severe fires in the future.

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