Lightning and heat sparked hundreds of fires in Canada •

Lightning and heat sparked hundreds of fires in Canada

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features smoke billowing from fires in burning near Great Bear Lake, Canada. 

“In July 2022, a combination of lightning, dry weather, and unusual heat fueled hundreds of wildland fires in northern Canada,” reports NASA.

“According to the Canadian government, 136 fires were burning in The Yukon and 65 in the Northwest Territories on July 6.”

In recent weeks, there are many parts of the Yukon and Northwest Territories that have experienced record-breaking temperatures.

While extreme heat dries out vegetation and turns it into fuel for fire, hot weather has made thunderstorms and lightning more likely in this region, according to research. 

A 2017 study from the Woodwell Climate Research Center identified connections between temperatures, lightning strikes, fire size, and burned area since 1975. “We expect an increasing number of thunderstorms, and hence fires, across the high latitudes in the coming decades as a result of climate change,” said study co-author Brendan Rogers.

The image was captured on July 6, 2022 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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