Wildfires spread across many regions of Western Canada this week. The provinces of Alberta and British Colombia were most affected, but smoke could be seen as far as Washington D.C. According to the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System, the fires, stretching eastward into Manitoba and northward into Yukon and the Northwest Territories, are much worse than what is typically expected for this time of year.
Alberta declared a state of emergency last Saturday and asked the federal government for assistance from the military. The country’s oil industry has also been impacted. Some 319,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day – nearly 4 percent of the country’s total production – were taken offline at one point this week. The operation of pipelines was also a concern as compressor stations and processing centers were temporarily shut down. It seems, however, that the worst has passed. By Friday, the total number of fires had declined, and so far, no oil facilities have incurred any major damage.