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Blazes that continue to burn through the winter in Canada were once thought to be a myth, but the so-called zombie fires may become more common as temperatures get warmer and less snow falls, experts say. Steven Cumming, an associate professor at Laval University’s department of wood and forest sciences, said those working in fire management had heard stories of the underground smouldering blazes over winter but there was no way of counting them until a recent study. Burning one kilogram of peat emits about half a kilogram of carbon into that atmosphere, Flannigan noted. “And the more carbon you have, the more warming you have, the more warming you have the more fire, so it’s a cycle.” He said he would attribute most of the increase for the zombie fires, if not all, to a warming climate. Canada is warming at twice the rate and the Arctic area is warming three times as fast as the rest of the world, Flannigan said.“ These fires that would normally have gone out in the winter or in the fall, burn right through until the following year,” he said.

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