What Dry Winter Could mean for Alberta’s Trees

By: albertaarb - April 10, 2017

A year after one of the worst fires in Canadian history, Alberta finds itself in danger’s way again. Experts are pointing to a dry winter season in Alberta as a massive threat towards an active wildfire season. “There’s not a lot of snow and we have this window of opportunity for fires to occur after the snow melts until the grass greens up and the trees leaf out – that’s a window for fire,” said Mike Flannigan, the director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science at the University of Alberta, “All you need is about a week of warm dry weather and away we go.”

So how worried should we be?

What Caused the Fort McMurray Wildfires?

Yes, the dry and warm conditions were partially to blame for the blaze that destroyed over 2,400 homes in the area. But the leading cause is still believed to be human. The exact cause is not 100% clear, but officials do think it was caused by a human, not by a lightning strike. Lightning strikes are known to be a leading cause of forest fires. According to Natural Resources Canada, “Lightning strikes cause slightly less than half of all wildland fires in Canada, but account for nearly 67% of the land area burned.” They added that humans account for the other half. However, humans have been reported to cause as many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States, according to The National Parks Service. “Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. The remaining 10 percent are started by lightning or lava.”

Can an Arborist Prevent Fires?

Yes, they 100% can. Proper tree maintenance is essential in keeping fire hazards in check. An arborist can help you deal with tree limbs that have fallen (or are in danger of falling) onto live power lines. They can also eliminate the dangers of keeping too much dry brush or wood on your property, which is always the biggest threat. At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too. Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with any tree removal in any location and can ensure no damage is done to your property. Click here to contact us or call the number at the top of the page for a free, no-obligation estimate of your job.

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