Record-setting wildfires in Canada could potentially continue burning at an abnormally high rate for several more weeks, though the spread of blazes is likely to start diminishing in September, according to federal projections released on Friday.

Forest fires have engulfed parts of nearly all 13 Canadian provinces and territories this year, forcing home evacuations, disrupting energy production, and drawing in federal as well as international firefighting resources. Four firefighters have been killed in the line of duty.

So far about 134,000 square kilometres (52,000 square miles) of land have been scorched, more than six times a 10-year average, and nearly 168,000 people have been forced to evacuate at some point this season.

“This summer has turned into a challenging marathon,” Canadian Forest Service official Michael Norton told a media briefing on Friday.

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