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Thread: Fort McMurray fire

  1. #101
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    Wood Buffalo municipality confirming no structures on fire right now.

    Also this tweet has video of what I assume is Beacon Hill:

    https://twitter.com/firefighters1st/...76626269134849

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    After Slave Lake the province should have cut a firebreak around Ft. McMurray and any large town surrounded by forest. Interesting note about poplar trees, I didn't even consider them as a method of slowing down a fire.

    Another thing the government should consider is building a road across to Wabasca and Peerless Lake, this has been discussed many times, as well as upgrading Highway 956 to an all weather paved route. Perhaps the La Loche shootings in conjunction with the fires will provide the Alberta and Saskatchewan government the incentive to make this area more connected.

    The highway to Peerless Lake is discussed in this thread
    East West Connector - Hwy 686 to Hwy 63 | Planned
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...ad.php?t=23678

    While they can cut a firebreak in some areas today, better roads will take years.
    I think they will eventually realize that they all were very, very lucky. The rapid moving Slave Lake fire was a great heads up for a lot of communities. Imagine what might have happened with higher wind speeds, maybe a fire moving across a highway in gridlock, etc.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    And i still don't recognize any of it.
    It looks like a war zone.


    It is a war zone. I feel so sorry for the people who lost everything. Not only their possessions but photo albums, computer files with thousands of pictures, people's home businesses, and they will lose a year or more of their life to dealing with insurance companies, rebuilding and getting back their lives with all the stress, trauma and upset to their once quieter lives. Hopefully everyone were able to get out and take their pets too.
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  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    After Slave Lake the province should have cut a firebreak around Ft. McMurray and any large town surrounded by forest. Interesting note about poplar trees, I didn't even consider them as a method of slowing down a fire.
    My brother is a volunteer fire fighter in Manitoba. He has seen a singe row of poplar trees stop a raging wild fire as effectively as a water bomber. His town that is surrounded by trees has planted rows of poplars since their major fire.

    Unfortunately, even if there were poplar trees in Fort Mac, it was too early in the season to have green leaves yet.
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  5. #105

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    Extremely dry condition with the perfect wind environment. There was no way of winning this battle.

  6. #106

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    Premier Notley to provide an update at 10:15:

    http://www.alberta.ca/emergency.cfm
    www.decl.org

  7. #107

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    1600 structures lost, fire advancing on Timberlea and Timberwood
    www.decl.org

  8. #108
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    88,000 people evacuated, no reports of deaths or injuries. That's amazing.
    Last edited by Paul Turnbull; 04-05-2016 at 10:46 AM. Reason: corrected number

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  9. #109

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    That number must include camp workers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    That number must include camp workers.
    Probably. I remember hearing some of the companies were flying their workers out so they'd have room for the evacuees coming north.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    From Twitter. Not sure the provenance.



    https://twitter.com/fraserd/status/727902310844776448

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  12. #112

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    ^link?
    www.decl.org

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    ^link?
    As stated in the post I don't know where the guy on Twitter got it. I did post the link to the original tweet.

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  14. #114

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    Thanks
    www.decl.org

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    Default Offer to Fort Mac Evacuees

    I apologize for this as it should be in the off-topic forum; but this is the portion of this site that gets viewed the most and I figured I would post here.

    If any of you are directly impacted or know someone who has been affected by the Fort Mac evacuation please private message me. I've talked to my tenant and we're going open up our parking stall downtown and let the place open for anyone who needs a place to stay.

    If you require food, fuel, clothing, or water - please message me as well.

    Thank you in advance to the admins as I assume you'll let this post pass.

    Steve

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    Reports now that the fire is in the Parson's Creek area north of the Athabasca River. Also wind is expected to pick up around 1pm from the west and they're concerned about the downtown area and the airport.

    Pulling info from the CBC Live Blog:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives...rray-wildfire/

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    Just heard MacEwan will be offering space in their residence.

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  18. #118

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    https://twitter.com/CBCAlerts/status/727930176231907328


    Emergency operations centre in #FortMcMurray ordered evacuated as wildfire continues to grow. #ymmfire
    Excellence is a continual Journey up a staircase where there is NO top step...

  19. #119

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    you know its bad when even the EOC needs to evac

  20. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    After Slave Lake the province should have cut a firebreak around Ft. McMurray and any large town surrounded by forest. Interesting note about poplar trees, I didn't even consider them as a method of slowing down a fire.
    My brother is a volunteer fire fighter in Manitoba. He has seen a singe row of poplar trees stop a raging wild fire as effectively as a water bomber. His town that is surrounded by trees has planted rows of poplars since their major fire.

    Unfortunately, even if there were poplar trees in Fort Mac, it was too early in the season to have green leaves yet.
    Here's some links I posted on another forum last year (very interesting stuff):


    Fire resistant shrubs...

    http://bcwildfire.ca/Prevention/prop...tantplants.htm

    Firesmart Manual

    http://bcwildfire.ca/Prevention/docs...-firesmart.pdf


    Enigma of the trees that resist wildfires - BBC News

    Spanish scientists Bernabé and José Moya couldn't believe their eyes.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34116491

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    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  22. #122

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    Are they still forecasting higher winds for later today?

    Interesting article on the effect of winds that did in Slave Lake

    Quote below incl. generic lessons learned:
    Wind-driven wildfire | Fire Fighting in Canada

    "...As Chief Coutts recounted, “From the time [the fire] was on one side of the highway until it was burning the town was half an hour. There were too many hot spots and [the fire] was moving too fast.” At one point, Coutts said there were 50 calls and just six trucks.

    Another serious impact of the wind on the firefighting effort was to ground all aerial support. By 7 p.m., the wind was too strong and turbulent to allow water bombers or helicopters to fly safely. Poor visibility further hampered the ... -

    ..,

    “We never thought this could happen,” Chief Coutts said, “The biggest lesson we learned is we have to plan ahead farther.”

    Coutts elaborated the needs from a firefighting perspective. “I would emphasize the need to lessen the fire risk itself within the confines of the urban area,” he said. “We need to avoid flammable materials. Roofs especially need to be fire retardant. Outdoor areas need to be as devoid of fuel as possible. No dry leaves or flammable mulches. Without reducing the spot fire risk, firefighting efforts will certainly be hampered.”

    http://www.firefightingincanada.com/...wildfire-12112
    Last edited by KC; 04-05-2016 at 01:32 PM.

  23. #123

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    ‏@EEDC
    "We are going to be tweeting out hotels w. contact information who are offering a compassion rate for evacuees. Stay tuned #ymmhelp #ymmfire"

    https://twitter.com/EEDC/status/727909170310062081
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Are they still forecasting higher winds for later today?
    I believe so.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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  26. #126
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    List of hotels in Edmonton offering assistance.

    https://www.facebook.com/EdmontonEco...54292571565832

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    Photo just released of #ymmfire from the air by @TownSlaveLake councillor Mark Missal #ymm https://t.co/0dmEdYwM6A


    https://twitter.com/Trelle_K/status/727959334303326208

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    Looks like quite a bit of Timberlea and Thickwood

    Similar view from Google Earth for comparison's sake
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@56.62627.../data=!3m1!1e3

    The government will be releasing an update at 3:15
    http://www.alberta.ca/emergency.cfm
    Last edited by sundance; 04-05-2016 at 03:01 PM.

  29. #129

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    apologies if this has been posted but it's one of those things that doesn't hurt to be redundant...

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...nate-1.3566391


    it includes an up to date list of agencies and resources to help fort mcmurray evacuees.
    Last edited by kcantor; 04-05-2016 at 03:25 PM.
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  31. #131
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    Radio report that they've moved to a provincial state of emergency now. I would guess the Lac St. Anne fire contributed to that decision as with more than one out of control fires in more than one jurisdiction the general state of emergency could save time.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  32. #132

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    Seems we were warned four years ago that this sort of thing could happen more often, as forests getting older, and residential sprawl pushing into them:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/ca...strophic-fires

  33. #133

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    ^^Danielle Larivee ‏@DanielleLarivee 27m27 minutes ago
    Due to the severity and scope of the situation, Cabinet has declared a provincial state of emergency. #ymmfire #fortmacfire

    https://twitter.com/DanielleLarivee/...73308516327424
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  34. #134
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    Mandatory evacuation of the hamlet of Glenevis near Lac St. Anne wildfire.

    http://www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca...6/05/3718.html

    Any residents North of the Alexis Reserve between the western boundary of highway 7 6 5, East to Range Road 41, North to township road 560, including all residents in the hamlet of Glenevis must evacuate the area immediately. R C M P are in the area to assist. A reception centre has been set up at the Cherhill Community Center, all residents are asked to proceed there.

    The Cherhill Community Center is located 302, 56102 RR 53, main street Cherhill. Please go to our website www. l s a c. c a for more information and further updates

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  35. #135
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    Also fatal crash on 881 south of the Fort McMurray has started another fire as well.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  36. #136

  37. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Are they still forecasting higher winds for later today?
    I believe so.
    Winds have picked up as expected, most recently from the west at 24km/h with gusts to 43 km/h. Forecast to switch to NW tomorrow although with lower temperatures.

  38. #138
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    Mandatory evacuation ordered for rural residents south of High Level due to a train yard fire.

    Mandatory evacuation order for Saprae Creek, east of the Fort McMurray Airport.

    Mandatory evacuation order for the Fort McMurray First Nation south of the Fort McMurray.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  39. #139

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    BAHAHAHHA Brian jean lost his house and i don't feel sorry for him for the comment he just said to global "we live in a wealthy neighborhood" Im sorry but go **** yourself. How dare you brag that the rich apparently don't give 2 ***** about fire. This clown needs to be run out of office.

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    I've listened to Brian Jean's comments and have to say I have huge respect for how he is handling this situation. He has been working with government, has made it clear politics are not a factor in this, and that the safety of the public is the first priority. He has been using his time to represent, support, and inform his constituents.

    While I don't support his party or his politics he is representing his constituents well in this situation.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  41. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I'm on syncrude site as I type. Not a good scene here, we're being evacuated and going back to athabasca camp to the north. I have a feeling this shut down is being put on hold for a while. I'll update when I can. A lot of the operators from site might be losing their homes
    Stay safe along with your work mates Kitlope.
    Thanks Gem. I'm on the bus heading back to camp in near gridlock, many people pulled off to the side of the road... erie seeing families, kids sorta milling about. The ones with trailers are making some informal trailer-towns in empty fields and adjacent roads to 63, I can only imagine what they are thinking.
    Hi Kitlope,
    Where did you end up?. Did you make it back to Edmonton?.
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  42. #142

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    Red Cross asking people for toiletries, diapers, tighty whities etc. They said to drop these things off at their downtown location. A better idea would be to put a couple of ETS buses in shopping malls and have a 'stuff a bus' event as I am sure people in Ft. Saskatchewan, Devon, Leduc do not want to be driving into Edmonton downtown area for this.
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  43. #143
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    Nope. You can't just stuff a bus as you'll end up sending stuff to people who don't need it. The Red Cross will be sorting and sending what's needed to where it's needed.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  44. #144

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    6pm weather conditions now show wind WNW sustained at 50 km/h with gusts to 67 km/h.

    What's left of the city is now in real danger of being returned to the ground from whence it rose.

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    Active fire map put together by a BC software company:

    http://www.bigbearsoftware.ca/wildfires/

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  46. #146

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    ^^^Do I have to type this slowly so you understand. The Red Cross is asking for this, if they can rustle up two buses and go to different malls for a couple of days rather than go downtown people can drop their donations off at the mall. The R E D C R O S S can then distribute these goods to the people who need them. This being the people of Ft. McMurray.
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    I misunderstood. Thought you were suggesting to send the full busses to the evac centres.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  48. #148

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    On a radio interview this afternoon a couple said they spent hours in the city just trying to get from their kids school(s) to their home and then several more hours to get out of the city.

    Again, I think they all were very lucky. It's pretty easy to imagine a faster moving fire scenario where several thousand people could have been trapped incinerated or asphyxiated in the city or on the highway.

    I hope they think hard about planning for future fires in such communities.
    Last edited by KC; 04-05-2016 at 06:42 PM.

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    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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  51. #151

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    The steady winds and gusts have begun. It sounds bad to me but I have no idea if that will drive the fires towards or away from things. CBC radio though said the winds are pushing the fire towards the airport. Can airports/terminals burn very easily?

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    Apparently the Eye of Sauron is bearing down on the airport:


    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  53. #153

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    The fire approaching the airport has now reached Old Airport Road. Where is that?

    https://t.co/PcxFJyjjFa

  54. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    There appears to be a couple CanWest Propane locations. Google street view of one shows a couple large tanks.

    What the heck do they do about propane? Couldn't open the valves or it would travel along the ground and into sewers. Couldn't really flare off very much either.
    Clear a great big area and wait?

    Found an example:
    Propane Tank Explosion Takes Out a City Block
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2r...s-out-a_people
    Last edited by KC; 04-05-2016 at 07:36 PM.

  55. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    There appears to be a couple CanWest Propane locations. Google street view of one shows a couple large tanks.

    What the heck do they do about propane? Couldn't open the valves or it would travel along the ground and into sewers. Couldn't really flare off very much either.
    Clear a great big area and wait?
    It's this one I think. I used to work for a company that has a shop in the same street (few blocks north of CanWest on the same street). Called a couple of people and they said part of the shop was damaged when they drove by. There's another propane shop down the street (Superior Propane).

  56. #156

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    Yeah, that's the one I saw. Hopefully any fire doesn't damage the bigger tanks.


    Another example. At first it looks like it just flares off but then...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr15rPHEmeQ

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    Fort McMurray students can register with Edmonton Public Schools or Edmonton Catholic Schools

    http://epsb.ca/news/schools/fortmcmu...istration.html

    https://www.ecsd.net/News/Pages/Edmo...-Disaster.aspx

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    We just opened up all three of our guest suites for anyone who has friends from fort Mac coming to the city..it's the very least we can do. I cannot watch anymore coverage, it's so very sad.

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    Two million in "start up funds" plus matching donation dollars... If your company is matching your donations, that can mean four times each individual donation $1 matched is $2 matched which is $4 to the Red Cross...

    http://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xI...C5EBFF81EA78B9
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    Plus, since you get half back at tax return time it's like there's another doubling right there.

    So donate twice as much for 4 or more times the impact.

  61. #161
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    Anzac is now evacuating too, including everyone who evacuated to there.

  62. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Red Cross asking people for toiletries, diapers, tighty whities etc. They said to drop these things off at their downtown location. A better idea would be to put a couple of ETS buses in shopping malls and have a 'stuff a bus' event as I am sure people in Ft. Saskatchewan, Devon, Leduc do not want to be driving into Edmonton downtown area for this.
    This is grand idea.

  63. #163

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    Climate change? Yes of course. It's spring.

    Global warming? Very likely not.

    Karma? Not in a spiritual religious way like the former NDP candidate seemed to imply, but yes, from a cause and effect point of view, again; yes, of course.


    In the 1960s we had a young boreal forest. That was the assessment by foresters at the time. It would now be considered old boreal forest. Decades of a strong fire suppression policy has changed its nature.

    Moreover, iN the past cities tended to locate in agricultural areas so the land around them was cleared of trees making such fires less threatening.

    Surrounding land was also cleared of trees and wood for building and burning so again less forest surrounded traditional communities.


    Global warming? It will add a few degrees of heat in the northern parts of the world and reduce the length of time snow cover persists. It could also lengthen the time heat waves persist. So global warming could have a slight effect related to thus fire. However as we all see on the daily temperature comparisons, often today's highs are beat by temperature high eps from the 1800s, 1920s, 30s, 40s...

    Additionally, human activity starts half of our forest fires. Increased populations, which cause Global Warming, also cause fires.

    Former Alberta NDP candidate criticized for calling Fort McMurray fire ‘karmic’ | Globalnews.ca

    Tom Moffatt tweeted out Tuesday evening that the current state of the oil and gas town is no coincidence, calling it “Karmic #climatechange”. He also used the hashtag #FeelTheBern in the post.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2681326/fo...y-fire-karmic/
    Last edited by KC; 05-05-2016 at 07:02 AM.

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    Is the Fort McMurray fire the result of climate change as some allege? Even those closest to that science seem to say global warming is likely to increase the frequency of forest fires but note we can't and won't be able to determine which of any given number of fires were "the" fires caused by global warming.

    Is the intensity and scope of the Fort McMurray fire the result of insufficient fire fighting capacity and/or budgets regardless of who forms our governments? Again, there is a schoolgirl thought that thinks otherwise.

    What we may be seeing may in fact be the result of too aggressive firefighting...

    "For many years United States forest managers allowed the accumulation of large amounts of fuel in Western forests by attempting to totally exclude fire - eventually this created conditions for very destructive wildfires that are proving impossible to contain."

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/article/wfc/xii/0829-b3.htm

    Are we perhaps doing too much and not too little firefighting???
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    Proximate factors are a warm dry winter due to a very large El Nino event, a lot of very dry timber, shifting wind direction, and the location of the initial fire relative to the townsite.

    Questions that will need to be addressed going forward is whether or not forest management practices near the town were a factor in the size of the fire. I don't know if they've been doing controlled burns around the townsite or not. I do know it is a common practice in the national parks and would have expected it to be common practice elsewhere as well. It's not a new thing. They'll also need to look at whether or not the issues raised in the investigation after the Slave Lake fire were addressed.

    Climate change is a whole other issue that may be a factor but I believe we have another thread for arguing about that.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  66. #166

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    ^I'm surprised its being debated re climate change, the article I posted above talked about how this was predicted 4 years ago, and not because of climate change. Its simply, our forests are getting older, and when forest get old, they burn and regenerate certain years (like an El Nino). Its a natural system, but, by the firefighting, we are trying to change nature so that our properties aren't damaged, even thought that's what naturally happens. I think the things that need to be considered include:

    - should we stop building new suburbs in pretty forested areas? I could imagine a fire like this happening in suburbs in Edmonton and Calgary on the edge, in a few places, and I can think of parts of Canmore, Jasper and Bannf which are full of trees right in the town.
    - why aren't we building ditches / clearings around towns to protect them? I'm guessing because land owners want to expand the towns onto that land - greenbelt is a dirty word in Alberta.

    Paying for our own greed / suburban nature desires, I guess. Its so sad for these towns though.
    Last edited by moahunter; 05-05-2016 at 07:40 AM.

  67. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Anzac is now evacuating too, including everyone who evacuated to there.
    Love the name of that town (hope the town is still there) - interesting history with New Zealand / Australian soldiers having originally surveyed it during WWI as part of railroad building.

  68. #168

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    Multiple factors are often at play in any crisis but politicians and wanna be politicians often rely on dumbed down excuses. I think that's karma.

  69. #169
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    Seeing reports that Suncor is shutting down their operations due to threat from the fire.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  70. #170

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Climate change? Yes of course. It's spring.

    Global warming? Very likely not.

    Karma? Not in a spiritual religious way like the former NDP candidate seemed to imply, but yes, from a cause and effect point of view, again; yes, of course.


    In the 1960s we had a young boreal forest. That was the assessment by foresters at the time. It would now be considered old boreal forest. Decades of a strong fire suppression policy has changed its nature.

    Moreover, iN the past cities tended to locate in agricultural areas so the land around them was cleared of trees making such fires less threatening.

    Surrounding land was also cleared of trees and wood for building and burning so again less forest surrounded traditional communities.


    Global warming? It will add a few degrees of heat in the northern parts of the world and reduce the length of time snow cover persists. It could also lengthen the time heat waves persist. So global warming could have a slight effect related to thus fire. However as we all see on the daily temperature comparisons, often today's highs are beat by temperature high eps from the 1800s, 1920s, 30s, 40s...

    Additionally, human activity starts half of our forest fires. Increased populations, which cause Global Warming, also cause fires.

    Former Alberta NDP candidate criticized for calling Fort McMurray fire ‘karmic’ | Globalnews.ca

    Tom Moffatt tweeted out Tuesday evening that the current state of the oil and gas town is no coincidence, calling it “Karmic #climatechange”. He also used the hashtag #FeelTheBern in the post.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2681326/fo...y-fire-karmic/
    Some factors need to be added to this. Healthy intact Boreal forests are more self managing. Dense forest has a canopy whereby very little sun gets through allowing much more growth of vegetation, of moss, and of older trees that are not healthy being quickly regenerated to soil. Thereby sustaining a strong link with decomposition agents from vegetation, to molds, fungi, insects.

    Healthy, dense, Boreal forest retains moisture (thereby aiding the ecosystem mentioned above ) and contributes to decomposition. Thereby continually a self managing ecosystem that regenerates on his own (and through occasional fire) and that creates soil, which again supports regeneration agents in the forest etc.

    Intact boreal forest also has a microclimate impact effect as Boreal forests are colder in summer than other areas and warmer in winter than other areas. The dark canopy of boreal forest allows less direct sun to hit ground, allows less wind in, thus one reason it is able to retain more moisture and be less subject to temporary dry or wet conditions. healthy boreal forest can mitigate so many environmental effects.

    I'm reading some others comments and would counter that Healthy Boreal Forests require less human intervention such as controlled burns. They are so dry that they don't adequately sustain the requisite microhabit, and regenerating diversity that these systems require. By clearcutting, changing Boreal forest to open land, we have altered the habitat. We've arguably altered local weather patterns and microclimate by doing that.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  71. #171
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    The smoke forecasting site gives a good idea of how many significant fires there are as well as the wind directions.

    http://firesmoke.ca/forecasts/BSC00WC04/current/

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  72. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I'm surprised its being debated re climate change, the article I posted above talked about how this was predicted 4 years ago, and not because of climate change. Its simply, our forests are getting older, and when forest get old, they burn and regenerate certain years (like an El Nino). Its a natural system, but, by the firefighting, we are trying to change nature so that our properties aren't damaged, even thought that's what naturally happens. I think the things that need to be considered include:

    - should we stop building new suburbs in pretty forested areas? I could imagine a fire like this happening in suburbs in Edmonton and Calgary on the edge, in a few places, and I can think of parts of Canmore, Jasper and Bannf which are full of trees right in the town.
    - why aren't we building ditches / clearings around towns to protect them? I'm guessing because land owners want to expand the towns onto that land - greenbelt is a dirty word in Alberta.

    Paying for our own greed / suburban nature desires, I guess. Its so sad for these towns though.
    Developers don't care. They clear vast areas in order to build. Private ownership of surrounding lands, nature overs and politicians and their accountants would be the obstacles. No one wants to spend the money nor pay landowners for the right to clear their lands.

    Additionally, under windy situations the embers could still likely jump any clearing.

    I think things have to be done to prevent urban infernos once fires do start within a forest city. The vinyl siding issue anyone? The building code should maybe be tailored for the community. Multiple houses shouldn't easily ignite and make it impossible to deal with the situation. Maybe all bbq propane , lawnmower gas and other things need to be collected or put in safe containment in perimeter neighbourhoods. RVs, boats, etc moved etc. Arrangements made to ensure people have enough gas to escape without life threatening delays.

    Ft MacMurray has a river running through it. Lots of water was available. Maybe something could be done to utilize local water supplies in such communities.

    The fact that they knew the fire risk was great but didn't get another highway connector and improved evacuation plans though should be a concern and a top priority now in all communities.
    Last edited by KC; 05-05-2016 at 08:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Red Cross asking people for toiletries, diapers, tighty whities etc. They said to drop these things off at their downtown location. A better idea would be to put a couple of ETS buses in shopping malls and have a 'stuff a bus' event as I am sure people in Ft. Saskatchewan, Devon, Leduc do not want to be driving into Edmonton downtown area for this.
    CHED has a trailer in their parking lot now but wait until 9:30
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    PS: Thank you ThomasH for closing the other thread, it made no sense having a duplicate thread.
    Last edited by sundance; 05-05-2016 at 08:13 AM.

  74. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Climate change? Yes of course. It's spring.

    Global warming? Very likely not.

    Karma? Not in a spiritual religious way like the former NDP candidate seemed to imply, but yes, from a cause and effect point of view, again; yes, of course.


    In the 1960s we had a young boreal forest. That was the assessment by foresters at the time. It would now be considered old boreal forest. Decades of a strong fire suppression policy has changed its nature.

    Moreover, iN the past cities tended to locate in agricultural areas so the land around them was cleared of trees making such fires less threatening.

    Surrounding land was also cleared of trees and wood for building and burning so again less forest surrounded traditional communities.


    Global warming? It will add a few degrees of heat in the northern parts of the world and reduce the length of time snow cover persists. It could also lengthen the time heat waves persist. So global warming could have a slight effect related to thus fire. However as we all see on the daily temperature comparisons, often today's highs are beat by temperature high eps from the 1800s, 1920s, 30s, 40s...

    Additionally, human activity starts half of our forest fires. Increased populations, which cause Global Warming, also cause fires.

    Former Alberta NDP candidate criticized for calling Fort McMurray fire ‘karmic’ | Globalnews.ca

    Tom Moffatt tweeted out Tuesday evening that the current state of the oil and gas town is no coincidence, calling it “Karmic #climatechange”. He also used the hashtag #FeelTheBern in the post.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2681326/fo...y-fire-karmic/
    Some factors need to be added to this. Healthy intact Boreal forests are more self managing. Dense forest has a canopy whereby very little sun gets through allowing much more growth of vegetation, of moss, and of older trees that are not healthy being quickly regenerated to soil. Thereby sustaining a strong link with decomposition agents from vegetation, to molds, fungi, insects.

    Healthy, dense, Boreal forest retains moisture (thereby aiding the ecosystem mentioned above ) and contributes to decomposition. Thereby continually a self managing ecosystem that regenerates on his own (and through occasional fire) and that creates soil, which again supports regeneration agents in the forest etc.

    Intact boreal forest also has a microclimate impact effect as Boreal forests are colder in summer than other areas and warmer in winter than other areas. The dark canopy of boreal forest allows less direct sun to hit ground, allows less wind in, thus one reason it is able to retain more moisture and be less subject to temporary dry or wet conditions. healthy boreal forest can mitigate so many environmental effects.

    I'm reading some others comments and would counter that Healthy Boreal Forests require less human intervention such as controlled burns. They are so dry that they don't adequately sustain the requisite microhabit, and regenerating diversity that these systems require. By clearcutting, changing Boreal forest to open land, we have altered the habitat. We've arguably altered local weather patterns and microclimate by doing that.
    In 2011 a fire near Ft.McMurray burned an area the size of PEI. So , I wonder. Was it natural boreal forest or was it previously altered, logged or something? Either way though, fire periodically blows through most northern forests. So leaving it to nature means cities will be threatened at some point. Maybe this was Ft Mac's once in a 150 yr natural fire.

  75. #175
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    After the Great Fire of London, builders had to make structures of brick, stone. Imagine in WW2 London would have pretty much been burned to the ground if they had wood structures.

    We can make cities and towns more fire resistant by using different materials, it costs a bit up front but there is a long term payoff. We can clear firebreaks, we can plant trees that are less flammable, all we need is the will.

  76. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Proximate factors are a warm dry winter due to a very large El Nino event, a lot of very dry timber, shifting wind direction, and the location of the initial fire relative to the townsite.

    Questions that will need to be addressed going forward is whether or not forest management practices near the town were a factor in the size of the fire. I don't know if they've been doing controlled burns around the townsite or not. I do know it is a common practice in the national parks and would have expected it to be common practice elsewhere as well. It's not a new thing. They'll also need to look at whether or not the issues raised in the investigation after the Slave Lake fire were addressed.

    Climate change is a whole other issue that may be a factor but I believe we have another thread for arguing about that.
    Yes. Thanks for catching that. I'd returned to mention El Niño and you'd beat me to it.

    Google El Niño for 2016 and you'll see all kinds of dramatic events globally.

    Ft Mac had been mentioned as having a great ?smart fire? program in place.

  77. #177

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    ^^KC

    When todays association with surrounding Boreal forest is tinder dry pockets of explosive combustible matter that in itself is perhapsindication of the habitat changing. Like I mentioned the dryness is due to the Boreal forest microsystem not being in dense enough condition to still retain moisture, to still prevent drying from wind, solar energy etc.

    Its interesting in itself that we now think of Boreal forest as a powderkeg rather than a self stabilizing ecosystem. Boreal forest is no rainforest, but it was formerly associated with temperate climate with this too seemingly changing.

    In anycase the reality is that these regions are really not contiguous Boreal forest anymore. I think we've altered microclimate a lot in these regions due to settlement, agriculture, clearing, industry.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned which is perhaps another factor is how we've altered groundwater table, water availability, river, stream water amount, etc.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  78. #178
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    CBC article with a lot of details on the fire.

    Fort McMurray wildfire burning so hot, only weather can stop it

    The conditions that preceded the start of this fire were quintessential wildfire conditions: a seemingly endless supply of dry fuel on the forest floor and in the canopy, and intense heat. All that was needed was a spark, and whether it was caused by human error or lightning (an investigation is underway), once the spark was there, the fire became a beast.
    "There was a mild winter and not a lot of meltwater from the mountain snow pack. Now, a stale air mass has been sitting over Alberta, and it led to very low humidity. Then there was an early, hot spring, and everything got very dry. Then on top of that, it got windy."
    According to Natural Resources Canada, the mean number of wildfires each year in Canada for the last 25 years has been about 8,300. An average of about 2.3 million hectares burns each year, but recent years have seen more destructive fires in terms of area covered.

    In 2014, for example, more than 5,100 forest fires burned over 4.5 million hectares. Last year, nearly four million hectares had been scorched by around 6,700 fires by early September, and fire season continues from late April to late September, depending on the region.
    Of note is where the fire started. If the start zone was on the west side of the illustrated extent on the first day then it started in an area that appears to have been clear cut.




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  79. #179
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    Federal Government is now matching Red Cross donations. $1 is now $3, and you get 50c back.

  80. #180

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I'm surprised its being debated re climate change, the article I posted above talked about how this was predicted 4 years ago, and not because of climate change. Its simply, our forests are getting older, and when forest get old, they burn and regenerate certain years (like an El Nino). Its a natural system, but, by the firefighting, we are trying to change nature so that our properties aren't damaged, even thought that's what naturally happens. I think the things that need to be considered include:

    - should we stop building new suburbs in pretty forested areas? I could imagine a fire like this happening in suburbs in Edmonton and Calgary on the edge, in a few places, and I can think of parts of Canmore, Jasper and Bannf which are full of trees right in the town.
    - why aren't we building ditches / clearings around towns to protect them? I'm guessing because land owners want to expand the towns onto that land - greenbelt is a dirty word in Alberta.

    Paying for our own greed / suburban nature desires, I guess. Its so sad for these towns though.
    Developers don't care. They clear vast areas in order to build. Private ownership of surrounding lands, nature overs and politicians and their accountants would be the obstacles. No one wants to spend the money nor pay landowners for the right to clear their lands.

    Additionally, under windy situations the embers could still likely jump any clearing.

    I think things have to be done to prevent urban infernos once fires do start within a forest city. The vinyl siding issue anyone? The building code should maybe be tailored for the community. Multiple houses shouldn't easily ignite and make it impossible to deal with the situation. Maybe all bbq propane , lawnmower gas and other things need to be collected or put in safe containment in perimeter neighbourhoods. RVs, boats, etc moved etc. Arrangements made to ensure people have enough gas to escape without life threatening delays.

    Ft MacMurray has a river running through it. Lots of water was available. Maybe something could be done to utilize local water supplies in such communities.

    The fact that they knew the fire risk was great but didn't get another highway connector and improved evacuation plans though should be a concern and a top priority now in all communities.
    And don't forget, lots of people want their cabin in the woods or a neighbourhood surrounded by trees.

    Here is a thought.


    A friend in Kaslo built his home with a 5,000 litre water tank and a 200 ft range sprinkler that can cover his entire main property and tree line. He can add fire retardant if a fire starts in the area.
    Something like this


    In buildings they have sprinklers for fire suppression.


    In these suburban communities they have hydrants on every block. Why could they not mount a 200 ft range sprinkler on each hydrant that can manually or automatically be activated? It should be a mandatory requirement of each subdivision IMHO


    http://phoschek.com/industry/homeowners/

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  81. #181
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    Have we learned nothing from Smoky Lake, Kelowna, California, Colorado or Australia?
    Sadly I don't think we have, no..

  82. #182

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    Snapshot of contributing factors to the tinder dry conditions. Precipitation. As in what precipitation.

    The following site contains info on historical weather/township. This is the annual precipitation since 1955 of Ft Mc township. 3/3 of the historical instances of under 300mm annual precipitation have occurred in the last 9yrs with 2016 certainly shaping up to be another one. Yes, on that recorded sample this is pretty significantly repeated instances of outlier arid conditions.


    http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/t...ata-viewer.jsp

    ps link didn't work to the actual calculation. But fill it in if interested.
    Last edited by Replacement; 05-05-2016 at 09:28 AM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  83. #183

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    I think we learned a lot. Doing something about it though always meets a lot of resistance.

    This fire was likely human caused. Camp fire, ATV, cigarette, broken bottle, arson... Who knows. More people, more activity, more fires.

    More suppression = fewer fires = worse fires

    More habitat destruction, water utilization (per comments above) = less resistant ecosystem = unpredictable fires

    ...

    More pollution in atmosphere = more lightning strikes (per research)

  84. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Snapshot of contributing factors to the tinder dry conditions. Precipitation. As in what precipitation.

    The following site contains info on historical weather. This is the annual precipitation since 1955. 3/4 of the historical instances of under 300mm annual precipitation have occurred in the last 9yrs with 2016 certainly shaping up to be another one.


    http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/t...ata-viewer.jsp

    ps link didn't work to the actual calculation. But fill it in if interested.
    It would be interesting to go back much further, looking for such cycles in the past.

  85. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Snapshot of contributing factors to the tinder dry conditions. Precipitation. As in what precipitation.

    The following site contains info on historical weather. This is the annual precipitation since 1955. 3/4 of the historical instances of under 300mm annual precipitation have occurred in the last 9yrs with 2016 certainly shaping up to be another one.


    http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/t...ata-viewer.jsp

    ps link didn't work to the actual calculation. But fill it in if interested.
    It would be interesting to go back much further, looking for such cycles in the past.
    Yep. The site doesn't have prior to 1955 precipitation info for Ft. Mc township. My immediate instinct was to try 100yrs. Still, 1955 arguably gives us a snapshot of the pattern during the significant habitation of this area.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  86. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I think we learned a lot. Doing something about it though always meets a lot of resistance.

    This fire was likely human caused. Camp fire, ATV, cigarette, broken bottle, arson... Who knows. More people, more activity, more fires.

    More suppression = fewer fires = worse fires

    More habitat destruction, water utilization (per comments above) = less resistant ecosystem = unpredictable fires

    ...

    More pollution in atmosphere = more lightning strikes (per research)
    Bolding is mine.

    Apparently the plume is generating lightning. Cloud-to-cloud as of last night, but it's expected to be hitting the ground eventually.

  87. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Snapshot of contributing factors to the tinder dry conditions. Precipitation. As in what precipitation.

    The following site contains info on historical weather. This is the annual precipitation since 1955. 3/4 of the historical instances of under 300mm annual precipitation have occurred in the last 9yrs with 2016 certainly shaping up to be another one.


    http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/t...ata-viewer.jsp

    ps link didn't work to the actual calculation. But fill it in if interested.
    It would be interesting to go back much further, looking for such cycles in the past.
    Yep. The site doesn't have prior to 1955 precipitation info for Ft. Mc township. My immediate instinct was to try 100yrs.
    Yeah would be nice to look back further. Last year Vancouver had a record warm winter, but it wasn't the warmest winter. It was second place to something like the warmest ever back in 1895! Sometimes climate change is just climate cycle or 'normal'-extremes.

  88. #188
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    Fort McMurray is cooler today (13 C). I think that might help with the firefighting efforts.
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  89. #189
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    Dashcam video exiting Beacon Hill on May 3rd:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC2iPvXAggM

    Edit: He has a playlist of six videos of getting out the area that day:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...Ripi5iI8UX2AyV
    Last edited by Paul Turnbull; 05-05-2016 at 09:47 AM.

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  90. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Dashcam video exiting Beacon Hill on May 3rd:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC2iPvXAggM

    Edit: He has a playlist of six videos of getting out the area that day:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...Ripi5iI8UX2AyV
    Here it is on CBC with commentary by the guy that took the video: http://www.cbc.ca/news/harrowing-for...cape-1.3567813

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    City of Edmonton has cancelled the emergency preparedness Get Ready in the Park event so they can focus on evacuees.

    http://www.edmonton.ca/programs_serv...-the-park.aspx

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  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Snapshot of contributing factors to the tinder dry conditions. Precipitation. As in what precipitation.

    The following site contains info on historical weather. This is the annual precipitation since 1955. 3/4 of the historical instances of under 300mm annual precipitation have occurred in the last 9yrs with 2016 certainly shaping up to be another one.


    http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis/t...ata-viewer.jsp

    ps link didn't work to the actual calculation. But fill it in if interested.
    It would be interesting to go back much further, looking for such cycles in the past.
    it might be interesting but it would also be a bit of apples and oranges.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...es-2012-report

    In 1971, more than half of Alberta’s boreal forest was deemed to be young, with about a third immature, five per cent mature and a small portion deemed “overmature”.

    By 2011, that had changed to less than 10 per cent young, about a quarter immature, more than 40 per cent mature, and more than 20 percent overmature.


    “Before major wildfire suppression programs, boreal forests historically burned on an average cycle ranging from 50 to 200 years as a result of lightning and human-caused wildfires,” the panel found in a report released in 2012.

    “Wildfire suppression has significantly reduced the area burned in Alberta’s boreal forest. However, due to reduced wildfire activity, forests of Alberta are aging, which ultimately changes ecosystems and is beginning to increase the risk of large and potentially costly catastrophic wildfires.”
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Provincial update with information on the current situation, evacuations, availability of services, etc.

    Update 2: Fort McMurray Wildfire (May 5 at 10 a.m.)

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    Google Doc of Edmonton area restaurants offering meals to evacuees:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ebook&sle=true

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  95. #195

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    We <3 Fort Mac Pancake Breakfast



    As our Fort McMurray friends cope with tremendous loss, lets show them Edmonton’s hospitality and support by gathering for a pancake breakfast fundraiser.

    Fort McMurray Relief: Pancake Breakfast
    Date: Friday, May 6, 2016
    Time: 7:00am – 10:00am
    Location: Sir Winston Churchill Square
    Food: Pancakes, sausages, coffee and juice
    Cost: $5 donation to the Red Cross**

    **To reduce the amount of cash being handled at the event, we’d prefer if you’d text your donation and show us a screen shot. Simply text "redcross" to 30333 and confirm a donation of $5. Your donation will go on your phone bill and dollars directly to Red Cross.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1605168766465421/
    Last edited by GreenSPACE; 05-05-2016 at 11:40 AM.
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  96. #196

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    May I suggest that that plate of pancakes deserves a $100 donation per plate. Even if you do not work in the oil industry, everyone in Alberta benefits from Fort McMurray's influence on the entire economy and $100 is a bargain donation.

    I went to a community bake sale auction back in 1980 were the first item was a tray of cookies went for $1.50, the pan of brownies went for $2.

    When they brought the third item out, 6 cinnamon rolls, my first bid was $10! (about $30 today) The crowd was a shocked so I spoke up "Everybody, we are trying to raise money for building a community hall, not looking for a bargain. The baked goods are a sweet reminder of your donations!"

    After that, not a single item went for under ten bucks and they raised over $600 bucks.

    People are sheep and they have to be lead.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 05-05-2016 at 12:31 PM.
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  97. #197

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    Any news if the likes of David Suzuki Foundation, Leonard DiCapprio, Neil Young et al making Red Cross donations?. Hopefully when the dust settles we do not have to listen to their banal rhetoric on this.
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  98. #198

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    ^ Looks like a lot of CO2 being produced as well as pollution. If you ask them, they will say that it a natural process and ignore the burning homes and businesses.
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  99. #199

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    Anyone have a figure of how many evacuees are at the Expo Centre?.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Anyone have a figure of how many evacuees are at the Expo Centre?.
    Reports this morning said about 900 with 500 residing there. I assume the rest are passing through. They said capacity was about 1500.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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