IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th June, 2023 Environment

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  • Some cities of North America, like Montreal, Toronto and New York, are impacted by the 400 fires burn in Canada.
  • They are engulfed in heavy smog due to these wildfires which is posing a serious risk to the health.


  • A satellite observations on June 8, 2023, given below, shows Active fires in the US and Canada.

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  • This wildfire instances could be considered Canada’s worst wildfire recorded season impacting over 7 million acres of land.
  • Overall it impacted an estimated 115 million people with at least 13 US states have issued air quality alerts.
  • New York City’s air has the worst air quality, hazardous, among major cities.
  • Due to the thick smoke is coming from wildfires of south Canada’s, It remains in the “very unhealthy” category with Air Quality Index (AQI) levels going above 350.
  • As observed by EU’s earth observation monitoring programme, Copernicus, The year 2023 has seen unusually severe wildfires in Russia, Spain, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Central America.
  • Indigenous Peoples are being forced to evacuate their homes due to these incidents.


Copernicus is a European system for monitoring the Earth. It is a component of the European Union's space programme managed by The European Commission.

It is a leading provider of Earth observation data and offers free and openly accessible information services to help service providers, public authorities, and other international organisations thus helping in improve European citizens' quality of life.

It collects data from variety of sources. For instance from Earth Observation; Satellites and ground-based, airborne, and seaborne measurement systems etc.


Wildfires meaning and vulnerability of India’s forest to wildfires


Wildfire – Causes and mitigation including the use of traditional practices


Health Concerns regarding wildfires

  • Smoke of wildfires contains various harmful pollutants, fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.
  • It may accentuate health risks of millions of residents living in vicinity to the affected areas.
  • Due to this pollution exposure the health effects are many which can range from relatively minor to more serious. For instance -
    • Minor - eye and respiratory tract irritation.
    • Major health effects - exacerbation of asthma and heart failure and premature death.
  • Most affected segment of the society will be children, pregnant people, older adults and people with heart or lung disease. Hence it impacts on the quality of life and right to health as people are forced to breathe in this foul air.
  • As per an estimate by Amnesty International 115 million people’s health are impacted by this.


In the context of recent wildfire of Canada, mention the implications of frequent wildfires for human health, livelihood and environment. Also discuss the measure which could be taken to reduce the occurrence of these disasters and to mitigate the damages associated with it. (250 words)