Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wildfires may increase in Canada: Ecologists

Canada may see more and larger wildfires
in the future, researchers say.
Canada is blessed with large forest regions, but ecologists say these regions are about to experience rapid change.

They use models to show there are threshold values for wildfires just like there are for epidemics.

Because of climate change, many forest areas in Canada are fast approaching the threshold, meaning there may be wider swaths of forest areas being burnt and larger wildfires in general.

The researchers of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Michigan say that the strategies for wildfire management should be reconsidered.

In 2009, 11,000 people had to be evacuated and around 1,000 hectares of forest and scrubland went up in flames in British Columbia, a province in Canada.

This happened after several weeks of drought, and ecologists are debating whether climate change is to blame and poses a threat to forests across North America.

The researchers analysed data from the Canadian Forest Service on fires exceeding 200 hectares and found that three ecozones in Canada could be affected by larger wildfires: the Hudson Plains south of the Hudson Bay, the Boreale Plains in the mid-West and the Boreale Shield, which is the largest ecozone in Canada (it stretches from the mid-West to the East coast).

The ecologists say that even small changes in the climate can have a big impact on the size of fires.

Source: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Air purifiers for wildfire smoke

Wildfire smoke poses a very serious health risk as 80 to 90% of wildfire smoke is within the fine particle range.

These fine particles are generally less than 2.5 microns in diameter and can penetrate deep into the lungs where they can cause serious damage over time. 

An increase in this type of airborne particulate matter has been linked to numerous health problems including headaches, nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, strokes and heart attacks.

Smoke can also travel far beyond the main burn zone. Studies show that even a small increase in airborne fine particulate matter can affect overall health.

AllerAir's air purifiers for the home and office.
When wildfire smoke enters a home through windows, doors, cracks etc. it can lead to poor indoor air quality for its residents.

Suggested Air Purifiers include: 

Air Medic+ Vocarb – a very efficient air purifier for particles and chemicals; ideal for those living within close range of a wildfire zone.

5000 DS or 6000 DS – specialized units for smoke and harmful chemicals with a deep-bed carbon filter, tar-trapping pre-filter and micro-HEPA filter

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.