The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 8 July 2013 to provide satellite imagery for the train derailment and consecutive oil spill and oil fire in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada. The mechanism was activated by Public Safety Canada.
Satellites can easily detect what is not visible to the human eye. NASA's Aqua satellite acquired imagery of a large wildfire burning in Western Quebec on 19 June 2013, near the shoreline of Hudson Bay.
The Canadian Space Agency has given out a seven-year contract for the construction of three new Radarsat satellites to be launched in 2018 and for the oversight of initial operations. The major component of surveillance will be covering Canadian territory and neighbouring property, notably monitoring of land and water in the Arctic. The $706-million contract was won by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), one of Canada's radar leaders.
Within the framework of the international Committee on SatelliteEarth Observation (CEOS), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is collaborating with NASA on various projects helping to prevent, manage and respond to natural disasters.
On Saturday, heavy rains fell in B.C's Shuswap region, where more than 340 people were ordered out of their homes into the community of Sicamous area in Vancouver, Canada. Canadian officials declared a state of emergency, issuing a water-conservation notice to some 3,100 residents on Shuswap Lake.
Water isn't the only thing pouring over Niagara Falls. Pollution from fires in Ontario, Canada is also making the one thousand mile trip, while being measured by NASA's Aqua satellite. One instrument that flies aboard two of NASA's satellites has provided two views of the pollution from the fires in Ontario.
Fires throughout Ontario are generating pollution that is showing up in data from NASA's Aura Satellite in the Great Lakes region. The fires have also forced thousands of residents to evacuate to other areas in Canada, according to CBC News. About 112 fires have ravaged 81,545 acres so far, said the province's minister of natural resources, Linda Jeffrey.
In the first test of its capabilities for forest wildfire mapping, ITRES' new Thermal Airborne Broadband Imager (TABI-1800) is being used to assist Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD, Canada) with fighting active wildfires in the province's North.