Wildfire rips through oil sands city


A wildfire ripped through kilometers of forest to the point of actually hitting the Albertan oil sands capital, Fort McMurray, prompting an evacuation of 20,000 people:

Fire officials face another day of high temperatures and strong winds likely to fuel a raging wildfire that has led to the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., and the expected arrival in Edmonton of nearly 20,000 evacuees.

Late Tuesday, provincial and fire officials reported several residential neighbourhoods in the oilsands capital that they believe have been lost to fire.

Perhaps surprisingly, no major injuries have been reported. And Fort McMurray’s critical infrastructure — including the water treatment plant, waste water treatment plant, Highway 63 and the Grant MacEwan Bridge — remained intact Tuesday night.

The Canadian and Albertan governments have a history of being fairly reliable in deploying the Canadian military to assist with disasters of this scale, as well as offering notable financial assistance to those affected. So there’s a silver lining–there’s no fatalities (so far, fingers crossed), and the Province already has a framework in place for mitigating financial loss.

If you have the means, consider donating to The Red Cross. In the flood that devastated southern Alberta in 2013, it was the Red Cross addressing the immediate problems, doling out prepaid bank cards to help people cover food, hotels, rent, clothes, and other necessities. Monetary donations are the most effective as they are going to be understaffed and won’t have time to sort through your old shit.

Our best hopes go out to everyone for safe refuge and a speedy recovery.

The Northlands Expo Centre is holding an emergency centre, if anyone reading this needs info on where they can go. Here is a resource for anyone who wants/needs to give or receive help.

PS. Please save the snark about Fort McMurray’s stereotypical residents.





  1. says

    I definitely have thoughts on this regarding climate change etc, but I’m keeping them to myself until after the fires are out. My first care was that my loved ones there are safe (they are), and my second care is that everyone else is safe and that the infrastructure is in place to ensure everyone is taken care of now and during the rebuilding.