British Columbia may be in for another summer of forest fires. Similarly, forests in the western United States also appear headed for another season of fires, the fruit of an ongoing drought. Fire, which is often beneficial to the forest ecosystem, can give rise to extensive salvage logging, which isn’t.
Officials in the province point out that people are responsible for 292 of the 323 fires that BC has already experienced this year. But people may be responsible in a less obvious way too. Climate scientists, like those at the US Environmental Protection Agency, have long worried that global warming may increase the risk of forest fires in certain places.