Fact check: Wildfires do affect Canada and Mexico

Social media users have been sharing an image of a map that shows fires on the west coast of the United States, along with a claim that wildfires stop at the border of Canada and Mexico. This claim is not true.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen here and here .

One post reads: “Uncontrolled wildfires? Do not effect [sic] Mexico and Canada?” The posts do not disclose the source or date for the image. The map seems to plot fires recorded in the United States, but not beyond.

The post is being shared amid the latest outbreak of wildfires raging across the western United States this summer, scorching a landscape the size of New Jersey and killing at least 26 people since early August ( here ) .

A NASA map shows fire activity around the world. As of September 15, 2020, the map showed various fires in both Canada and Mexico. ( here ). If the ‘timeline’ function is selected on the map, it is possible to see how fire activity in the US and across its borders has shifted in recent weeks.

While there have been a few fires in recent days in British Columbia, the western Canadian province bordering the United States, here , residents have also been struggling with smoke billowing over from the California wildfires. ( here ) The air quality is ranked as “very high health risk” in many areas of the province ( here ).

In Mexico, a weekly report by the National Forestry Commission of Mexico shows four fires in the northern Mexican border state of Baja California recorded between Sept. 4 to Sept. 10, 2020 ( here ). The commission has also been reporting on fires in the north on its Twitter account ( here and here ).

Media outlets have also reported that smoke from a recent brush fire in Baja California was visible from San Diego ( here ) .

The Reuters West Coast United States wildfires tracker can be seen here .


False. Wildfires do affect Canada and Mexico. The map seems to show U.S. fires only.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .