There’s no question the Elephant Hill fire happened. From the first spark near a large rock outcrop in July 2017, it exploded into a beast of unceasing ferocity, forcing thousands from their homes as it devoured acre after acre of the British Columbia interior. Over nearly three months, it crossed a river, hopscotched containment lines and climbed sagebrush-covered hills, churning into the atmosphere an estimated 38 million tons of greenhouse gases—roughly a year’s worth of pollution from more than 8 million cars. But while Canada dutifully reports such figures, when it comes to formally accounting for its emissions as part of the Paris climate agreement, the Elephant Hill blaze and others like it aren’t part of the equation. On paper, at least, they don’t count.