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Forest fires: authorities worried about lack of snow

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar7,2024

Feux of forests: the authorities are concerned about the lack of snow

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Last year, the News -Scotland had experienced the largest forest fire in its contemporary history.

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Nova Scotia is experiencing a winter with little snow. The coming spring promises to be warmer than normal. This could create the conditions for a significant fire season, as the province experienced the largest fire in its history last spring.

Half of our province didn't get any snow at all, says Jim Rudderham, director of forest protection for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewable Energy.

This half is southwest Nova Scotia. This is the area that worries the authorities the most.

Already last year, the sector experienced the largest fire in the history of the province. More than 23,000 hectares and around sixty houses were ravaged by the flames. Thousands of people had to be evacuated from their homes.

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The rubble of Kasey DeMings' house in Carleton Village, about fifteen minutes from Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

In the southwest of Nova Scotia and the center, but also in a large part of New Brunswick, the amounts of snow were well below normal, explains Bob Robichaud, meteorologist at Environment Canada.

In eastern Nova Scotia, the two snowstorms in February brought the amounts close to normal, but the bulk of this snow, there is not much left, adds the meteorologist.

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This lack of precipitation is not without consequences. Without snow, the soils are dry. Temperatures, above normal for the season during winter and fall, contribute to drying them out. With dry ground, the risk of fire increases greatly.

To avoid a fire season similar to last year, we would need a snowy or rainy spring.

A gray spring is better for forests and against fires, says Manuel Helbig, professor of atmospheric sciences at Dalhousie University .

The first weather models are still imprecise regarding precipitation.

Temperatures-wise, they could be higher than average, which contributes to drying and evaporation, indicates Bob Robichaud.

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Manuel Helbig, professor of atmospheric sciences at Dalhousie University

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With climate change, we're going to see more of that.

A quote from Manuel Helbig, professor of atmospheric sciences at Dalhousie University

Faced with this worrying situation, the province's 27 fire departments are prepare. They have firefighting equipment and trained personnel to respond to these fires, says Jim Rudderham.

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewable Energy also monitors soil moisture levels to inform residents of the dangers of starting fires on their properties.

We encourage people who have land to be careful and attentive to help prevent fires, adds Jim Rudderham who also recalls that the majority of fires are of human origin.

With information from Adrien Blanc

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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