DNA Explainer: What is the cause of Canada wildfires and how it is affecting US?

When the wildfires in western province got under control, the eastern provinces started burning.

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Massive wildfires have burned across more than 3.3 million hectares of land in Canada over the past six weeks, an area larger than the state of Maryland and forcing widespread evacuations. 

At their peak, the forest fires in British Columbia and Alberta, which began in late April, forced the evacuation of more than 30,000 people and shutting down oil and gas production.

The eastern provinces began to burn once the wildfires in the western province were put out. Ontario is the second-largest by land area and population in Canada behind Quebec, which is the largest by area. Around 160 forest fires were burning in Quebec as of Tuesday, displacing almost 10,000 people, while a comparable number of flames were raging in Ontario.

Cause of wildfire:

Some of the causes of the wildfires include heat wave, little snowfall this winter, deforestation, and human errors.

More lightning also develops in dry, hot conditions. Lightning causes more than 85% of wildfire destruction in Canada during a typical season, but only starts around half of those flames. The other half are caused by people. 

Even seemingly little increases in the global average temperature can have significant effects.

These quickly growing fires are being fueled by harsh weather conditions, which makes them very challenging to put out. 

How is Canada wildfire affecting the US?

While Canada has been battling wildfires for several months, this week's dangerous air pollution conditions in the US were caused by smoke that moved south and lingered over much of the country's northeast.

The air quality of New York City has deteriorated as smoke from the Canadian wildfires poured into the US East Coast and Midwest, with data showing that the pollution level in the metropolitan city was the highest among significant cities worldwide. 

Situation was such that the picturesque and renowned skyline of New York City became invisible on Wednesday behind a hazy veil of smoke from the Canadian wildfires flowing into the region.

According to IQAir, New York City had the highest levels of air pollution among significant cities worldwide on Wednesday morning.

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