Beginning in May 2023, the map shows fires as glowing points that resemble embers. Fires cluster in western Canada in May before rapidly expanding across Quebec in early June. By midsummer, fires appear in nearly every province, including the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Wildfires only tell part of the story, though. You can also see large plumes of smoke curling southward and eastward. The smoke patterns in the video come from NASA’s aerosols data and show how wildfires in Canada created smoky skies for parts of the US.
As the video ends in October, fire-burned areas turn red to spotlight the scale and scope of the 2023 wildfire season. All told, wildfires burned 18.5 million hectares in Canada in 2023.
As temperatures rise, more places are likely to experience unprecedented impacts like wildfires. Those wildfires will produce smoke, in turn causing even more cascading impacts. This map serves as a powerful reminder of just how interconnected our global climate is.