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Background

  • During the first week of May, in addition to Alberta, wildfires have raged through Saskatchewan, B.C. and New Brunswick, with Manitoba on high alert.
  • B.C. has been unable to send firefighters to help because they're already fighting numerous blazes throughout that province.
  • Fires in the boreal forest are not unusual. But temperatures as high as 33 C this early in the year are. The average early May high temperature in Fort McMurray is 16 C.
  • Alberta had twice as many fires last year as its 25-year average, and fire seasons there and throughout many parts of the world are getting longer every year, with fires consuming greater areas.

Quotes from Peter Robinson, CEO

"Like many Canadians, we at the David Suzuki Foundation are following the wildfires in the Fort McMurray area with deep concern and sympathy for those who live there."

"The courage, kindness and community spirit of the people of the area have been profound — especially the tireless work of firefighters and rescue workers, as well as local First Nations and businesses that stepped up to offer shelter."

"For decades, climate scientists have predicted that global warming would cause extreme weather events like flooding and wildfires to increase in frequency and severity. We are all affected by these occurrences, no matter where we live."

"We have a collective responsibility to ensure measures are in place to protect people from wildfires and other disasters and make sure people are aware of ways to prevent fires."

"It's also important for governments, industry and citizens to live up to the commitments of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and reduce the causes of extreme weather and its consequences."

"For now, we should all do what we can to support the hard-working people of the Fort McMurray area as they deal with the devastation of this fire and as they rebuild in the future. One way to help is to donate to the Red Cross. The federal government has committed to matching donations from Canadians."

END

Media Contact:

Alvin Singh
Communications Manager
604-250-2651
asingh@davidsuzuki.org

May 6, 2016
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2016/05/david-suzuki-foundation-statement-on-fort-mcmurray-wildfires/