The blanket of smoke that enveloped the lower mainland this summer was a poignant reminder of the exacerbating effects that climate change and human influence have on forest ecology in our province. Countless records were broken — both at home and worldwide — as wildfires were also making headlines in Italy, Croatia, Spain, France and Portugal. According to the 2017 BC Wildfire Index, compiled by Dr. Lori Daniels, forest ecology professor in UBC’s faculty of forestry, B.C. broke 85 maximum temperature records this summer alone. …“With all the trees that have burned — over 1.2 million hectares of forest — we have lost in some areas … ten years’ worth of sustainable forest management and timber. Imagine those small communities in BC whose economies depend on the forest industry,” Daniels said.
By Suzanne King