A new study has found that forest fire activity in Canada, and around the world, has been decreasing for the past 30 years.
The study, released by the Fraser Institute, was conducted by studying 60 years worth of “reliable government data” recorded between 1959-2019 determined that while the first half of the time period showed a sharp increase, the second half showed continuing downward trend.
Forest fire activity reached a peak in the late 1980s through mid-1990s, reaching the maximum area burned in 1989 when more than 12,000 fires burned 7.6 million hectares. This was in stark contrast to 2019, when just over 4,000 fires burned 1.8 million hectares.
Despite recent record-high's for fire activity in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, the worst years for damage from forest fires in Canada all occurred 20 or more years ago.
“This ostensible trend of growing devastation from forest fires is often linked to the broader issue of climate change,” the report's author Robert P. Murphy wrote.
Murphy also provided another way to analyze the suggestion from climate activists of a rising trend of unprecedented fires across the country and worldwide.
“If we rank the years during this period according to area burned, the six worst years all occur prior to the year 2000. This underscores the point that over the past three decades, there has been a declining trend in numbers of fires and the total area burned at the national level in Canada, a pattern consistent with that observed globally.”