Schumer calls on U.S. to do more to help Canada fight wildfires as experts warn of smokey summer

Some experts are warning these wildfires could be the beginning of a "smoke-filled summer" in North America.

Published: June 8, 2023 1:56pm

Updated: June 8, 2023 4:52pm

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants the Biden administration to do more to assist Canada in fighting its raging wildfires that are filling the skies with smoke throughout the U.S.

According to a Bloomberg News report, some experts are warning these wildfires could just be the beginning of a "smoke-filled summer" in North America.

Schumer wrote a letter on Thursday to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking him to "double Forest Service personnel on the ground to fight the fires in Canada and protect the health of Americans."

The New York Democrat said it is "unfathomable that millions of Americans cannot even step outside without compromising their health and safety."

"The best way to ensure the U.S. does not suffer another wave of wildfire air pollution from these fires is to contain them as soon as possible. That will not be easy, but the Federal Government must explore all options on the table to keep Americans safe. We must send over personnel and equipment, and offer any assistance that our friends north of the border need. Climate change has taken these once-in-a-hundred-years events and turned them into yearly occurrences," he said.

"I am proud that Democrats have accelerated the transition to clean energy through bills like the Inflation Reduction Act. But this wildfire is a stark reminder that without further intervention, our country will continue to have to fight these unprecedented events. In the meantime, we need all hands on deck to make our air clean, healthy, and safe. Immediately," he added.

The Wall Street Journal has a different view on the cause and intensity of the smoke in the U.S.

"As of Tuesday, there were 415 active wildfires across Canada with 238 burning out of control," the wrote in an editorial. "No doubt drought and a warm start to the summer have contributed, but the bigger culprit is poor forest management that has let fuel accumulate over decades."

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