Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fort McMurray Fire

       By now most people would be aware of the dangerous destructive forest fire at Ft McMurray. Wildfires were in the area but on the weekend one fire suddenly went very wild. Windy hot conditions allowed the fire to go toward the city of Ft. McMurray. By Monday a mandatory evacuation of the city was ordered. The evacuation order was almost too late.

       Ft McMurray has a population of about 90000. There is about 1 1/4 roads out of McMurray. There's one divided double lane highway and a much smaller two lane highway . Since almost all people ended up on the highway , a massive traffic jam took place. Adding to the misery, there was no gas left in McMurray so people started with less than a tank of gas. It's a long way to another town with gas so people were stalled on the road with no gas.

    About 15000 people went to the north to empty work camps. 65000 went south toward Edmonton.
Now it's hard to imagine that many people on one road trying to get away. Once they were a few Km out of town they were out of fire danger but there was no place to stay.

    Ft. Mcmurray is 587 km northeast of where I live.

    You probably connect Ft McMurray to the massive tar sands oil development. The large mines and plants are in no danger as the mines have cleared all the forest. The city is located in a beautiful boreal forest area.

     So an emergency situation has made it very worrisome for us even if we are far from danger. My neighbor works at McMurray. He came home safely but it was a difficult trip.

     Now about 50 years ago there was no road to McMurray. It was a small isolated village. There was a railway to McMurray.

   At this time the fire is still out of control.

40 comments:

  1. Hi Red, One of our news anchors said the fire in Fort McMurray is now on the same scale as the great fire that destroyed most of San Francisco over a hundred years ago. So sad for the thousands who have lost their homes. Thanks for sharing the info here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far I think only 1600 structures have been lost but it is a major fire.

      Delete
  2. I've been following this news with dread, since it's so early in the season for such a terrible fire and does not bode well for the coming summer months. My sister and brother-in-law live in Alberta, but I've learned that it's much farther north than they are. Or you are. What a terrifying story of a fire out of control. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been very fortunate that no lives have been lost.

      Delete
  3. Hope they get it cleared up, they said there was lots less firemen than most fires.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very mean fire. It's too warm and windy. We need cool nights.

      Delete
  4. I think Grace (Buttons) was where I first heard about this fire and the evacuation. I can't imagine the terror of trying to escape and then to be stuck on the highway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fire was not close to the highway but I'm sure they wanted to get out as fast as possible and as far as possible.

      Delete
  5. I saw a few photos of it just now and that's unbelievable how bad it's gotten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's bad one and they are having a very difficult time fighting it.

      Delete
  6. The videos are terrifying. Such a tragedy of immense proportions. Will they all be separated and split up. Does Canada have a process for resettlement and finding them jobs when they begin to return to a more normal mental state?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most people will go back. Temporary accommodation will be arranged. I think children will have to remain away from McMurray for a while. 1600 structures have been destroyed so far...not all of them houses. yes , there's much government support.

      Delete
  7. I read about this yesterday. Wonder if you'll get a lot of smoke where you live? It always amazes me how far smoke travels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far we don't have smoke but it will come sooner or later. Most winds blow east from there.

      Delete
  8. I did read about this fire -- scary! You're farther west than I thought -- for some reason I was imagining you lived in Ontario. Not sure why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So this fire has made world news!

      Delete
  9. I hope they get it contained soon. I am certain Fire Crews are trying their best:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They've been able to keep it out of the city for the last couple of days.

      Delete
  10. I know that having a winter with a light snow pack would be a contributing factor- and bodes ill for the summer to come in terms of forest fires all over the place. I've never been up in that part of Alberta... the poor people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a beautiful boreal forest area that is until the oil mining took place.

      Delete
  11. I feel for the desperate people traumatized by this fire. I hope it's brought under control soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tough for people . My neighbor works there. So He's in for 14 days and then out for 14 days. His boys were worried about their dad.

      Delete
  12. It is such a dangerous fire that really put a lot of challenge to people to just survive. I can't imagine where they all will go. If they have extended family they may have to go many miles to get to them. Shelter seems to be only in their vehicles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Large centers have opened up. We hope that things will settle down and most of them can go back. There are large camps in the area so people may be housed in them.

      Delete
  13. i read about that dreadful situation. i cannot imagine trying to drive out while fire flanks the sides of the highway. bless the firefighters and emergency personnel. bless all those displaced and in need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pictures MADE IT LOOK WORSE THAN IT WAS., but it was still awful.

      Delete
  14. I hear of forest fires all the time in California. It is mind boggling to think of the devastation this one is causing. And can't imagine the evacuation of so many people. All the best to everyone, I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of the biggest evacuations that's ever happened.

      Delete
  15. I was hoping to hear from you about this fire. I was wondering about the situation with the mining operations and what was supplying the fuel for the fires. I guess that would be forest and grasslands.
    Our newspaper today contained an article wondering if many misplaced people from this city would ever be able to return home. It is devastating to so many, and Alberta now has its own refugee problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The mining areas are completely bare...deforested. the rst of it is boreal forest...very little if any grassland. Large centers have been opened as in convention centers, gyms etc. They aren't great places to stay but they hope it doesn't last long. 90% of them will be able to return.

      Delete
  16. It's on every news bulletin here Red: horrific and unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A horrifying situation. I can only imagine what the people there are going through. Let's hope it is contained soon. And let's hope for cooler temperatures, more humidity, tons of rain and calmer winds...that would all help.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My heart goes out to the residents of Fort McMurray. Many seem to have lost everything except their lives. I can hardly imagine their grief and their terror but I applaud the emergency services for their excellent work.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just saw on the news tonight that the fire could double in size by tomorrow. This is so darn awful. Our hearts are going out to all those poor people and brave firefighters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I saw it on television news here, it looked terrible frightening. All those poor people on the run, leaving everything behind. Hope there will be rain coming soon.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We had smoke in Wisconsin and Minnesota from the Canadian fires on our trip here. Awful, awful, awful.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Such a horrible, horrible situation!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have seen news photos and this fire is certainly very devastating and tragic for so many people.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I didn't realize you were so close to Fort McMurray (because in Canada, I consider 500 or 600 km close!) I can hardly believe what is going on there and what has happened to the town. I too was horrified by those videos of people driving along highways flanked by fire. :(

    ReplyDelete
  25. I too was horrified to see this on t.v. Broke my heart.

    ReplyDelete