"These Wildfires Never Went Out — They Just Moved Underground"

"Canada’s record wildfire season keeps burning through the winter".

"Under the ground, even under the snow, zombie fires are burning.

The remnants of the most extraordinary wildfire season in recent Canadian history are still smoldering on a scale that experts say is unprecedented. The warm and dry winter, particularly in western Canada, has left more than 150 fires burning across British Columbia and Alberta, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center.

While it’s common that such hot spots — known as holdover or zombie fires — can smoke and smolder through the cold months, this amount of them is not.

“We’ve seen this before but never at this scale,” said Michael Flannigan, a wildfire expert and professor at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia. “I’ve been watching fire in Canada and abroad since the late ’70s. I’ve never seen anything like this.”"

Joshua Partlow reports for the Washington Post February 24, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 02/26/2024