Wings Magazine

News Aerial Firefighting Public Safety
Record shattering 2023 wildfires voted Canadian news story of the year

December 20, 2023  By The Canadian Press

HALIFAX — The wildfires that disrupted the lives of thousands of Canadians — and shattered records for the amount of forest burned — have been voted The Canadian Press story of the year.

An unusually mild and dry winter in much of the country set the stage for an unprecedented season that led to 200,000 people fleeing their homes.

Canadian Wildfire Conference brings together ground and air leaders in Kelowna

The fires consumed an area three times the size of Nova Scotia, more than doubling the previous record set in 1995.


From Halifax to British Columbia to Yellowknife, Canadians were forced from their homes as the fires burned, and the resulting smoke made for hazardous air conditions far from the flames.

Six firefighters in B.C. died, including four killed in a road crash as they returned home from a two-week deployment.

The wildfire story was the top pick among 97 editors in newsrooms across the country, receiving 35 per cent of votes, ahead of inflation with 25 per cent and the housing crisis with 21 per cent.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2023


Stories continue below