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The West Coast Wildfire Crisis

Here at Chipps tree pruning services, not only do we provide our clients with top-tier tree planting, tree removal and stump grinding, we also practice and preach the philosophy and wisdom of the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture). This means that we encourage our customers to think of trees of more than mere lawn ornaments and consider how important trees are for the planet – not to mention the health benefits derived from connecting with nature.

Whether you only have room for a small apple tree in your yard, or you have room for a dozen blue pines, it’s always great to encourage life and greenery. It may supply some food for your family and friends, a bit of shade in summer and a pleasant atmosphere that adds to the vibe of your neighbourhood. If your favourite elm or maple tree died in the past year, our stump removal experts can restore order to your yard to make the way for a great new tree come spring. The life cycle of trees and observing how calmly and patiently they grow on a day-to-day basis can be inspiring and enjoyable.

While we’re always likely to get carried away talking about the magic of trees, the topic of today’s blog is actually a bit bleak. As you probably saw on the news, this year marked the second year in a row where wildfires ripped through BC and parts of Alberta, destroying huge swathes of forest, in addition to people’s homes and belongings. The fact that this happened two years in a row is no coincidence – climate change scientists predicted that droughts would give way to wildfires of this nature, but not until 2050.

While 2018 hopefully proves to be on the extreme side of the west coast wildfire phenomenon, it is still a sobering wake-up call for better fire safety and evacuation protocols. Warmer weather patterns mean that the atmosphere is prone to sucking the moisture out of dead wood and plants, as well as increased incidence of lightning. The way air behaves in stagnant weather patterns also facilitates the fires, with intensifying warm dry air settling in forests as the arctic jet stream weakens and the ice caps melt.

While all of this information may be depressing, sulking about it won’t do any good – trust us, we’ve tried. Instead, we should be grateful for the trees that haven’t burned in the fire and remember that all life – even plant life – is a miracle.

Hopefully in the coming decade, scientists working with fire experts will be able to mitigate the damage. First Nations sanctioned controlled burns can have a positive effect and some scientists believe that aggressively fighting the fires (which has been the protocol) actually exacerbates the situation. Undoubtedly it’s difficult to watch as the forest burns, but against all logic, sometimes this might be the best strategy.

Whether you have any questions about fire safety or you need an arborist in Parkland County to help with your trees, give us a call. The staff at Chipps Tree Care are your friendly local arborists, and we’re all about getting involved in the community conversation.