Mandatory Evacuation Ordered for Waterton Lakes Nat. Park

Too often people carelessly start fires. This campsite was the start of a major forest fire in California

The wildfire season continues to wreak havoc in the western part of the continent. Friday a mandatory evacuation order was implemented to clear people from Waterton Lakes National Park. Winds have pushed an out of control fire into the park boundary. This includes the town of Waterton, Alberta.

This fire, labelled the Kenow Fire, is believed to have started in BC from a lightning strike.
The hot, dry summer that BC has experienced has led to the worst fire season on record. Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island have had influxes of smoke from both BC and Washington State wildfires. Washington State is fighting numerous wildfires including five areas where multiple fires have converged to for complex burn areas.

Idaho and Oregon are also fighting numerous large wildfires, many with 20% or less containment.
California is battling several serious fires. They have had a hot, dry summer and now winds are fanning fires. Their governor has declared a state of emergency in several counties due to the size of their fires. A fire in Los Angeles county necessitated evacuations of parts of Glendale and Burbank.
It may be that climate change has a hand in the increasing severity and number of wildfires. The Union of Concerned Scientists have stated:

Wildfires in the western United States have been increasing in frequency and duration since the mid-1980s, occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003).

They point out that the trend may not be a straight line increase, but overall there has been a steady increase in number and seriousness of wildfires.

Further Reading:
CBC News                     
Los Angeles Times         

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