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Canada gives $5 million for new wildlife research network

OTTAWA — The federal government is investing $5 million in national wildfire research to help fire-prevention experts get the knowledge they need to keep Canadian forests from burning.

The Australian wildfires that began late last year saw hundreds of bushfires burning across the country that left at least 34 people dead, destroyed more than 5,000 buildings and killed an estimated one billion animals.

Climate change is blamed for many of the hot and dry conditions that left the Australia vulnerable to massive fires, and fire experts here say Canada is not immune from a similar fate.

Many of the research tools and knowledge about how fires behave in Canada’s dense boreal forests are decades old, making predicting where and how fires will happen more difficult.

The federal investment comes from a $151-million emergency management strategy to respond to climate change, which was announced in the 2019 budget.

It will fund 68 wildland fire experts in masters’, PhD and post-doctoral fellowships.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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