Alberta Burning

May 4, 2016


Edmonton Journal:

Fort McMurray fire officials are prepared for another challenging day Wednesday as firefighters try to save the oilsands city from a massive wildfire that has destroyed homes and businesses, and forced the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history.

Tens of thousands of people have fled north and south.

Fueled by soaring temperatures that hit 32 C and tinder-dry forest, the fire broached the city limits and by 6:20 p.m. a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire city.

“Today has been a devastating day. We have had explosive fire conditions on the landscape brought on by extremely high temperatures” and low relative humidity, Bernie Schmitte, wildfire manager at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said Tuesday night during a news conference.

“The fire is still out of control,” Schmitte said. “We have been challenged on many fronts as the fire came through the community. It has entered the community and it has gone through the community.”

Officials have accounted for about 53,000 people, including 17,000 people north of the city, 8,000 in Anzac, 9,000 in Lac La Biche, and 18,000 in Edmonton. Fort McMurray has population of 83,000. “This is not an exact science,” one official said when asked about the discrepancy.

No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported at this time.

Military help has been requested through the province. That assistance will come from the Army and Royal Canadian Air Force. It will take about two days for the military to respond.

More coming.

7 Responses to “Alberta Burning”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Ho-hum. ANOTHER fire? To go with the ones now burning in India, recently in Kansas and Shenandoah National Park in VA, always in Indonesia, and the one that’s been burning in AUS for over 5000 years? (No fires along the Gulf and in the Southeast, though—-the floods and tornadoes have put them out).

    And “officials” say they’re short 30,000 people in their “accounting” but have “no fatalities or serious injuries—-it’s not an “exact science”? LOL Sounds like the “estimate” was made by Bernie Schmitte’s cousin—Fulla Schmitte, or one of the other Schmittes—-Awe, Bull or Kneedeepin (in case you don’t know Jack).

    • There are always a number of people unaccounted for in this sort of thing. Mostly people who go to a friend’s or relative’s home and don’t bother to check in to tell the authorities “we made it out OK.”

      Although the “no deaths” thing isn’t true any more: Two people died an a traffic accident during the evacuation.

  2. indy222 Says:

    This is all going bad sooner than we thought.

  3. And the outrage toward people who dared to bring up climate change “at a time like this”. Still a huge supply of denial in Alberta and Saskatchewan

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