Fires rage in cottage country north of Toronto
The area of Canada about 250 kilometres north of Toronto had 39 fires raging as of Monday, with 14 declared out of control.
Provincial parks in the area have been closed, 800 campers told to leave one park, as more than 600 firefighters from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico battle the raging infernos in cottage country.
No cause for the largest blaze, designated as Parry Sound 13, near the town of Parry Soundl, has been established, but officials said weather is the likely culprit — lightning strikes in forests after prolonged periods of no rain.
“Dry conditions in the forested areas have caused those fires to be ignited fairly easily,” Shayne McCool, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, said Monday.
While Northeastern Ontario burns, firefighters are battling another 100 blazes in the Northwestern part of the province, where one firefighter has died.
According to the ministry, there have been 831 forest fires so far this year, by far eclipsing the 243 fires for all of 2017.
But it is not only an area of Canada that is burning.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in northern California on July 28, where the Carr fire has caused the evacuation of at least 38,000 since July 23. It is one more than two-dozen raging in the state.
Six have died in the fires, including two children and their great grandmother. Three firefighters have perished, as well.
More than 3,400 firefighters are trying to contain and extinguish the flames. Authorities said at least 720 homes and 240 other buildings have been destroyed and 5,000 are under threat. Fires are raging in the states of Washington and Oregon, as well.
Tinder dry conditions are suspected in some of the fires.
In December of 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown pointed the finger at climate change, the “new normal”, and said he expects the lack of rain and high temperatures to lead to large fires that “could happen every year or every few years.”