Explosive fires are raging in British Columbia • Earth.com

Explosive fires are raging in British Columbia

Explosive fires are raging in British Columbia Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the McKay Creek fire, which is one of more than 40 wildfires that burned across British Columbia in June of 2021.

On June 30, a fast-moving blaze engulfed the small town of Lytton, and village councilor Lilliane Graie wrote that “most residents escaped with only the clothes on our backs.” 

Explosive fires are raging in British Columbia Record-breaking heat had arrived in Lytton early in the week, and temperatures peaked at 121 degrees on Tuesday afternoon. The next day, the explosive fire moved in.  British Columbia (BC) is the westernmost province of Canada, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.1 million as of 2021, it is Canada’s third-most populous province. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for Queen Victoria, who reigned over the British Empire at the time of Confederation. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest. In October 2013, Greater Vancouver had an estimated population of approximately 2.5 million

According to Michael Fromm, a meteorologist with the Naval Research Laboratory, the forests in British Columbia are vulnerable to wildfires every summer. “But there’s no doubt the extreme heat and substantial wind exacerbate the fire danger.”

The image of the McKay Creek fire was captured on June 30, 2021 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 at about 12 p.m. local time.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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