I agree it has been alarming - living in Montreal and literally tasting the smoke has not been okay by any stretch.
But I would like us to take a more direct, detail-oriented look at what's going on. These are not "wild" fires - I'm not sure how that word came to be used here though it seems to be sweeping the media like proverbial - ahem - wildfire.
These are logged lands, at best secondary managed plantations. Having spent a lot of time in such spaces (as a "wilderness" tripper, as an industrial tree-planter, and as a professional working with industrial food, ag, and more in Canada and internationally) my sense is we are confusing "climate change impacts" with basic ecological destruction.
I have also spent a couple decades working with major companies on their "climate change targets" which is how I come to know that the vast majority will not help and will possibly make things worse. I obviously don't say that lightly - it's not been a fun realization [understatement].
Even the most ambitious "climate change targets" will not address the fire conditions we're seeing. They create a lot of conceptual smoke and mirrors that allow companies to continue with the endless growth narrative that extracts and harms (or outright destroys) human and non-human lives and complex ecosystems, while checking numerous climate boxes for regulators, investors, and citizens. Meanwhile. the conditions that create these fires go unchecked and, from most of the media I see, unnoticed. Pointing this out risks getting lumped in with climate denial as opposed to an awareness of life's principles.
I am a huge fan of your work and know you to be a writer who actually does take a close look at the details (I have pressed Four Fish into many hands over the years!) so I don't point this out to heckle, more to ensure that we are thoughtful about the significant actions we push for.
So, while I agree this can be a wake up call, I want to encourage us to wake allll the way up, not just into another layer of deluded "action" that perpetuates harm.
For this to be significant, we need to look very closely at any "climate" target and make sure it will have net positive *impact*, not just a CO2 tally abstracted from reality in this crazy carbon tunnel vision we seem to have contracted. To do this, we need to undergo a very serious rethink of our industrial systems, consumer mindset, and more - this is not trivial of course but without it, we rinse and repeat. So far I am not aware of any meaningful regulation that serves this purpose. Anyone taking action is going to have to actually think and sense and discern.
I'd be delighted if the smoke creates such significant and meaningful change! Here's to shining some light on the path that gets us through the smoke and darkness.