The Summer Canada Burned: Postmedia to publish book on 2023 wildfires

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A book chronicling Canada’s unprecedented 2023 wildfire season will be published this November by Postmedia and Greystone Books.

Wildfire has scorched more than 15 million hectares in the country this year, with several weeks still left in the season. The 10-year average of land lost to wildfires previously sat at 2.2 million hectares.

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The hardcover book — called The Summer Canada Burned: A Wildfire Season That Shocked the World — will be available in November, featuring 100 photos and reportage from dozens of Postmedia journalists across the country.

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“Wildfires have touched every province and every territory this year,” said Duncan Clark, Postmedia’s chief content officer.

“Hundreds of people lost their homes, while tens of thousands more were evacuated when flames invaded their community,” he said. “Additionally, all Canadians — and millions more in the United States — dealt with choking smoke from those wildfires.

“The stories from this year’s wildfires are stories that matter, with long term impacts, and that’s why it’s vital to capture them. They represent a new chapter of the history we share in Canada.”

In the months and years ahead, the wildfires will impact everything from insurance rates to local states of economic recovery, while also raising questions about Canada’s response to such disasters and the changing climate.

“The sad truth is that the escalation of climate change took centre stage in Canada,” said Rob Sanders, Greystone’s CEO and founding publisher. “This book reveals what happened and why, and it salutes the people who gave so much of themselves to limit the damage.”

Tragically, four firefighting personnel lost their lives while battling this season’s blazes. To date, more than 4,000 firefighters from 12 countries arrived here to assist thousands of Canadian firefighting personnel on the ground and in the air.

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A share of proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross Wildfire Fund.

The economic losses and costs resulting from the wildfires are still being tallied, but officials expect the total to run into the billions of dollars.

Postmedia and Greystone Books have collaborated on other books, including the national bestseller The Flood of 2013: A Summer of Angry Rivers in Southern Alberta.

The new book — The Summer Canada Burned — is edited and compiled by Postmedia Calgary deputy editor Monica Zurowski.

It will be printed in Canada thanks to support from the Manitoba-based, employee-owned Friesens Corporation.

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