Tag Archive: wildfire

Eighty-thousand people in the Canadian city of Fort McMurray have been told to get out as a massive wildfire approaches.

Authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order for the city, which is in the heart of the country’s oil sands region and is about 267 miles northeast of Alberta’s state capital of Edmonton.

The city’s main southern exit, Highway 63, has been closed due to the danger, leaving residents to head north.

Alberta has asked for help from other provinces to help fight the fire – which now stretches for 2,650 hectares – and airlift people from the city.

Already, nine air tankers, more than a dozen helicopters and more than 100 firefighters are battling the fire.

Premier Rachel Notley said her province was experiencing the biggest evacuation in its history.

She told a news conference: “We need to find more camps, we have secured spaces for about 6,000 people, we know we need to find more and that work is underway.”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on Tuesday night: “Tonight I spoke with Premier Notley and offered our government’s support to the people of Fort McMurray. We stand ready to help.”

A local radio reporter said a trailer park that was evacuated on Monday was on fire and flames were heading towards businesses.

Carina Van Heerde, with radio station KAOS, said: “It’s chaos on the roads. People are panicking. It’s gridlock on the roads. Flames are right next to a gas station.”

Carol Christian said she was very scared as she drove to an evacuation centre with her son and cat.

“When you leave… it’s an overwhelming feeling to think that you’ll never see your house again,” she said, her voice breaking.

“It was absolutely horrifying when we were sitting there in traffic. You look up and then you watch all the trees candle-topping … up the hills where you live and you’re thinking: ‘Oh my God. We got out just in time’.”

There are no casualties or injuries so far but Bruce Mayer, assistant deputy minister of Alberta’s Forestry Division, warned: “Tomorrow is expected to be a more intense burning day than today is.”

While weather forecasters expect a cold front to reach the city by Wednesday afternoon, it will bring stronger wind, which will make it tough for firefighters.

Last May, wildfires led to the evacuation of hundreds of workers from the oil sands area, leading to a 9% cut in Alberta’s oil sands output at the time. Operations this time, however, are reported to be unaffected.

Source: Whole City Evacuated As 80,000 Flee Wildfire

Wildfires : are a natural part of the carbon-cycle, the presence of excess CO2 in the atmosphere causes temperatures to rise and forest to wither and burn, the carbon laid down in these fires is much more stable than the carbon of ‘living’ organisms and can remain locked away in the ground for millions of years. Forest fires are a natural way of the planet dealing with itself and the answer is simple as ever, don’t live in a forest…

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