Canadian Wildfire Evacuations
The fires are expected to encroach on the city by the weekend. Northwestern Territories Fire stated: “There is risk to the City of Yellowknife. Our team, alongside the City of Yellowknife, are doing everything possible to slow the growth of this fire and protect the community."
There are currently 1,067 active wildfires across Canada, including 230 in the Northwest Territories. Wildfires are often started by human activities, such as campfires or explosives, but climate change facilitates environments where fire thrives. Like several countries globally, Canada has experienced a record heat this summer, contributing to drought and dry conditions.
Catherine McKenna, Canada's former climate minister, previously cited climate change as a force behind the fires, writing in a tweet: "Climate change is real and having a huge impact on Canadians right now with forest fires burning across the country."
The smoke has also impacted air quality across Canada and into the United States. Minnesota air has the potential to reach the Purple or Very Unhealthy category for several hours, according to the weather service.
“Smoke will linger across the eastern half of the state on Friday and fine particle levels will continue to be high for most of the day,” the weather service said. “Winds will become southerly Friday afternoon and smoke will begin to retreat away from the state and disperse. Air quality should improve below alert levels by the end of the day on Friday.