by Eldric Vero
August 24, 2023
This CotD is an update of the June 11th CotD related to Canada’s Wildfires with the following Panels being self-explanatory.
This image is from the Natural Resources Canada (NRC) under Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (https://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/home). The NRC website is a very good source of information related to wildfires and it is recommended to view the various maps and data.
This graph of Annual Cumulative Burned Area is the author’s construct to verify the data within the NRC website. Typically, Canada’s wildfire season begins in late April and extends into September on an annual basis. The wildfires burned area varies over time with an annual average burned area in the order of 2.7 million hectares per year from 2012 to 2022. Typically, by August 22nd of the wildfire season, there would be about 2.5 million hectares burned based on the averages since 2012. As of August 22, 2023, Canada’s wildfires have already burned 14.85 million hectares or nearly 6 times higher than the normal average.
The following graph presents the Burned Area on an annual basis since 2012. So far this year, 14.85 million hectares have burned which represents in the order of 9 standard deviations over the previous 11 year average. This is considered beyond a Sixth Sigma event and represents a nearly impossible occurrence, in the order of 1 (one) in a Trillion. You decide if the wildfires of 2023 are a natural phenomenon or something else.
According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_earth), a scorched-earth policy is a military strategy of destroying everything that allows an enemy to be able to fight a war, including water, food, humans, animals, plants and any kind of tools and infrastructure. Its use is possible by a retreating army to leave nothing of value to the attacking force or by an advancing army to fight against unconventional warfare.
Scorched earth against non-combatants has been banned under the 1977 Geneva Convention:
“It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.”
Does the above sound familiar?
The following are images depicting the devastation from recent wildfires:
Lahaina Hawaii (2023)
Lytton BC (2021)
West Kelowna BC (2023)
“If you are scorched earth – I will be warm rain” Murasaki Shikibu poet & novelist