TORONTO — Canadian officials are using one term to sum up Canada’s wildfire season: unprecedented.
Wildfires continue to engulf much of Canada, making this the nation’s most disastrous wildfire season on record in terms of acreage burned — with several months still left to go.
Fueled by prolonged drought conditions and high temperatures in much of the country, the blazes have forced a record 155,000 people to flee their homes and required an unprecedented level of international assistance.
They have sent thick plumes of toxic smoke over vast distances, from the Great Lakes to the East Coast and even thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Portugal, France and Ireland.
Numerous cities have been hit hard, with New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit recording some of the highest particulate levels in the world at various points this spring and summer.
Here’s what you need to know.