After months of unseasonable sun and heat, summer has finally faded to fall in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, with higher elevations already receiving their first blanket of snow. And what a relief it is. Fires burning across neighbouring British Columbia and into Alberta have made smoke omnipresent and threatened animals and people alike.
Over the last week, as many of you know, Waterton National Park – one of this country’s great wilderness treasurers – has been devastated by wildfires and we can only hope that the changing weather will continue to aid the remarkable efforts of firefighters to contain the blaze.
Though fires are critical for ecosystem renewal, super-fires like the ones we’ve seen this summer are more concerning. They spread more quickly, burn hotter and leave more damage in their wake. They are the byproduct of many factors, including a changing climate and its trickle-down effect that has led to the spread of mountain pine beetle – an infestation that has left trees dead and ripe for burning. This fire in particular will ultimately have a silver lining, but for the animals lost and human dreams ruined, it will remain a nightmare.
There is no quick fix to the multitude of threats facing the people, animals and places we love, but during this hard time, they all remain in our thoughts. As we hopefully move from tragedy to rebirth, we’re committed to sharing Waterton’s renewal and encourage you to help support it.