Planet

Climate change is causing record-breaking heat and intense wildfire seasons, worsening health issues.

As record-breaking heat and out-of-control wildfires raged in the beautiful Canadian province of British Columbia this past summer, people started arriving to the emergency room of Kootenay Lake Hospital with symptoms of heat illness.

Dr. Kyle Merritt, the head of the emergency department, told the Times Colonist that most of the doctors at the hospital had only seen such heat illness in medical school. Now they found themselves with a flood of it as the temperatures rose.

"We were having to figure out how do we cool someone in the emergency department," said Merritt. "People are running out to the Dollar Store to buy spray bottles."

A patient arrived who was struggling to breathe. The smoke from the wildfires in the area hadn't lifted for days, and the patient's asthma was being aggravated by it.

Merritt took the patient's chart and wrote two words he'd never written on a chart before: "climate change."

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