Early fires related to global warming (posted by CBS News yesterday, 6 April 2000) THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO. – The forest fire season in much earlier than usual this year, which experts say may be related to global warming. There are 11 major fires burning across northwestern Ontario, with severe grass fires also reported in Western Canada. Bob Johnson, a fire boss based in Thunder Bay, told CBC TV News that severe fires are becoming the norm now. He says the past 10 years have included seven of the worst fire seasons on record. The conditions from Thunder Bay across northwestern Ontario couldn’t be much worse. They have had less than 50 per cent of their normal snowfall, so the bush is tinder dry. And many other parts of Western Canada haven’t fared much better. Climate experts say the early fires are the result of global warming. The warming trend results in more severe storms, which produce more severe lightning strikes, often the prime cause of forest fires. A problem is that many lakes that provide water for fighting forest fires remain frozen at this time of year.