The Smart Prosperity Institute has released a new podcast episode, The High Price of Wildfires, featuring an interview with Ed Struzik. Struzik is a wildfire expert, author of “Firestorm: How wildfire will shape our future,” and Fellow at the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.

Climate change is causing longer, larger, and more destructive forest fires that have grave consequences for the Canadian economy and local communities. Since 1970, the direct costs of fighting wildfires have tripled, only counting the costs of firefighter payments, air tankers, and fuel. These costs are a fraction of the true cost of wildfires, as stated by Smart Prosperity, which may include “insured and uninsured damage to homes, businesses and other property; repairing infrastructure like roads, power lines and water distribution; increased burden on hospitals and health care services; aid for evacuees; disruptions to industry; and preparing for future fires.”

For example, a study in 2017 estimated that the Fort McMurray fires had direct costs of $615 million, but cumulative costs of at least $9.5 billion. These costs may become more frequent as the climate is changing, which necessitates planning and low carbon resilience solutions that mitigate climate-forcing emissions and adapt to heightened wildfire risks.

Check out the Smart Prosperity Institute’s podcast interview with Ed Struzik, wildfire expert and author of “Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future” here