Canada's fires claim first victim: firefighter dies without intervention

Eva Deschamps / July 16, 2023


A firefighter from western Canada died on Thursday in the field during an intervention against one of the megafires that have been ravaging the country for weeks, her union announced on Thursday night.
This is the first fatality in the field since the start of Canada's historic fire season, with over 900 fires currently active and more than 570 out of control.
"It is with a heavy heart that our union mourns the loss of a family member who lost his life today fighting a forest fire outside Revelstoke," British Columbia, BCGEU explained.
Across the country, the number of fires continues to rise, particularly in western Canada, where in the space of a few days several hundred storm-triggered fires have been recorded.
British Columbia, which recently ordered further evacuations, has requested the help of an additional 1,000 international firefighters.
But "it's very difficult to get additional firefighting capacity," explained Cliff Chapman, spokesman for the British Columbia Fire Department, on Thursday.
With 9.6 million hectares already burnt nationwide, more than 11 times the average for the last decade, the absolute annual record set in 1989 has already been surpassed.
Both sides of the country are burning at the same time this year. Some provinces unaccustomed to fires are also affected. One forest fire in northern Quebec alone burned more than a million hectares.
In recent years, Canada, which by virtue of its geographical location is warming faster than the rest of the planet, has been confronted with extreme weather events whose intensity and frequency have been increased by climate change.
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