Fast-Spreading Wildfires: Canada Facing its Worst Season in History(2023 Aug)

This report provides an overview of the significant wildfires that have occurred globally in 2023. While wildfires in Hawaii's Maui Island garnered substantial attention due to their impact on residential areas and casualties, numerous other countries, including the USA, Spain's Canary Islands, Chile, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Algeria, and France, have also faced substantial wildfires that pose threats to public safety.

Of particular concern is the escalating wildfire situation in Canada. British Columbia, which includes the city of Vancouver with a considerable Japanese population, declared a state of emergency on August 18, 2023. Subsequently, on August 19, evacuation orders were issued, affecting approximately 30,000 residents. In Canada's Northwest Territories, located in the northwest region of the country, wildfires have consumed an area exceeding 30,000 Tokyo Domes. The city of Yellowknife, known for its stunning aurora sightings, also faced the approaching flames, necessitating evacuations for numerous summer vacationers and aurora tourists.

To track the current status of wildfires in Canada, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre(CIFFC) offers real-time updates. As of August 21, 2023, there are 1,037 active wildfires, with 657 classified as "Out of Control." These wildfires are widespread, affecting regions across the entire country, as evident when examining the CIFFC's map.

Source:Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (

Furthermore, the graph below compiles the burned areas year by year. In 2023, it has already exceeded 14 million hectares, which is equivalent to a staggering 3 million Tokyo Domes, doubling the area burned in 1995, which was the highest in recent years at 7.1 million hectares. This graph vividly illustrates the abnormality of the current situation.

Source:Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (

At Spectee, we not only alert our customers to dangerous wildfires that threaten residential areas and disrupt supply chains through " Spectee Pro," but we also provide a news-oriented video distribution service to news agencies. Many shocking videos, such as the sky turning bright red and fires approaching tourist destinations, have been posted on social media.

The increase in wildfires, as observed around the world in recent years, is believed to be attributed to the effects of climate change. The warming of the Arctic, resulting in the meandering of the jet stream and the formation of high-pressure systems, leads to dry air conditions that promote the occurrence of wildfires. Additionally, the combination of heat and drought causes fires to spread more rapidly and burn for longer durations, exacerbating the situation. In the context of climate change, wildfires are likely to continue posing significant challenges globally.

Spectee is a startup that provides solutions for visualizing various crises and disasters. Interestingly, there are many startups in North America that are focusing on responding to wildfires. For example, Pano AI combines hardware such as cameras and sensors with AI technology to detect real-time signs, locations, and sizes of fires to assist firefighting teams. Another company, Rain aims to achieve rapid firefighting using autonomous flying helicopters. Delos utilizes cutting-edge technology to develop and offer insurance services specifically tailored for wildfires. Furthermore, venture capital firms like Convective Capital are dedicated to investing in startups with wildfire-related technologies, highlighting the richness of the venture ecosystem in the United States.

Addressing climate change requires two approaches: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigating climate change necessitates the development of revolutionary technologies and significant societal changes, which inherently take time. Therefore, while continuing mitigation efforts, we must also adopt adaptive approaches to address the imminent crises. Spectee, leveraging technology, will continue to develop solutions to overcome various crises, including wildfires.

Satoshi Negoro
August 21, 2023

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