Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Fort McMurray Alberta

       Things have more or less been at a stand still in the city of Fort McMurray.  The fire,the beast, slowed down for a few days and then it got hot and windy again. The only good thing was that the fire was away from the city. There are many hotspots that could be dangerous. Yesterday , trees in a park area in the city started burning. To date the fire has burned 425000 hectare. This is about 80% of  Prince Edward island.

        Plans to return and open the city have been on hold.

       To open the city gets to be a bit complicated. All the gas was turned off because gas lines could and did rupture and add to the fire. They have to check gas lines for leaks and then all the pilot lights have to be relit.

     Water lines were ruptured and the water was turned off to the whole city. The water treatment plant has to be started and all water lined checked and flushed.

     All electricity had to be turned off.

     The hospital and medical facilities have to be cleaned and opened.

     People are told that when they go back they have to take food and water.

     Yesterday the fire threatened larger work camps. A 650 person camp burned. There are 18 other camps with some holding about 1000 people 8000 people  from the  camps have been evacuated

     Today the Premier announced that June 1 is the date to start returning to the city. For many reasons this  could change .

    For many people the decision to go back is difficult. Are schools going to be open? Will business be open? Will their job be needed now?

     It will take a long time to open Fort McMurray again. Then the rebuilding starts.