The government of Canada's Northwest Territories declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to wildfires. The wildfires have largely destroyed one remote community and are also posing a risk to territorial capital Yellowknife. The declaration gives authorities additional powers to respond to an emergency and underscores the unparalleled damage wrought by blazes so far this year.  

More than 130,000 square kilometers of land have been scorched and nearly 168,000 people have been forced to evacuate. Northwest Territories has so far had 265 wildfires this year, much higher than its 10-year annual average of


Quinn Barber, a fire science analyst at the Canadian Forest Services said a lot of that forest is remote, untouched wilderness, and it's very difficult to manage wildfire in those areas where there is no road access or any of the infrastructure needed to support firefighting activity.  The environmentalists said about 60% of wildfires are caused by lightning, while the remainder are due to human activity. In a study of British Columbia's 2017 fire season, researchers found that human-caused climate change had a strong influence on the amount of area burned. 

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