Or, more to the point, Fort McMurray Alberta is on FIRE.
Catastrophic fires, Armageddon Fires are burning out of control in the city of Fort McMurray Alberta. Almost 90,000 people were evacuated from the city two days ago, and the fires are moving South, into the cities that those original evacuees evacuated to.
So they not only had to evacuate once, they had to evacuate TWICE.
The Canadian Government is matching ALL donations to this catastrophe. More than $22 million dollars have been raised since this all began. MORE is needed.
Resources from all over the country are converging on Alberta as we speak.
I spent a chunk of the afternoon watching live camera coverage of this tragedy.
I know what it is like to loose a home to Storm and Hurricane damage, I’ve been there and done that. At least for us, we had bones to rebuild from, the stuff, however water logged and warped, most of it was salvageable, and we rebuilt.
But FIRE, there is nothing left but ashes. When your life is reduced to ashes, what is there left to rebuild, or recover ? Nothing is left.
We are all very saddened at this tragedy.
There are a number of fires burning out there, several are being left to burn themselves out, (Read: Out of Control) and nobody knows where that is going to end up.
Firefighters from all over the country are also converging on Alberta.
Fires are rated from a ( 1 ) to a ( 6 ).
This Alberta Fire is rated at a ( 6 ) the most dangerous.
Many firefighters, are not trained up to a six. Forest Fire Fighters are, those who deal with this kind of catastrophic fire. A good number of fire fighters now traveling to Alberta are only threes or fours.
So they are on a steep learning curve.
This tragedy is not an Alberta Tragedy, but a Canadian Tragedy.
Just another addition to the long list of Canadian Tragedies that exist simultaneously.
We have a serious “people problem.” Where do all these people who fled FIRE go?
Even they are asking among themselves, “How long are we going to have to be here, and sleep like this (read: In a local gym in another town down the road from home?)
We don’t know when they will be able to return home, and nobody knows, at the time of this writing, just how many homes have been burned to the ground.
More than 850 square kilometers ( 328.2) square miles of land have burned, I saw reported before I began writing this.
The weather is not cooperating, with high winds, dry conditions, no rain in sight, and non-existent humidity that would at least help.
I learned today that fire ON the ground is easier to fight, than fire IN the tree tops.
Once the fire gets to the dry tree tops and branches, that kind of fire burns much hotter and moves quite quickly, fires can and usually do burn out of control, because fire is sentient, it burns, it moves and destroys in an instant. As the wind changes, fire moves with it. And we have seen that this combination has been deadly, on the ground.
I think the real fear is that this fire is not over, and won’t be over very soon.
And much more land is going to burn to the ground before this is over, and thousands upon thousands of people, are not going to have anything to return to in the end.
That is real tragedy.
The next few questions that rise are:
- What do we do ?
- Where do they go ?
- What is it going to cost to rebuild homes and infrastructure ?
- And where does that money come from ?
- How many of these people did not have home/fire/insurance ?
- And when it comes to rebuilding, where do these people live in the meantime ?
- We live in Four Seasons, so time is really of the essence
- Summer is only going to last so long, before the seasons change and on the Prairies Fall gets cold, and Winter gets BITTER.
These are real questions, that must be answered in the long term.
Based on the destruction I know happened during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, in Florida, the entire deep south of Miami, was leveled North/South/East/and West.
It took more than 10 years to rebuild that city from the rubble that was left.
If that is my simple guide, rebuilding an entire Prairie city and the cities that burned in addition to Fort McMurray, a decade is a simple start.
10 years is a long time …
This Catastrophic Fire needs to be fought and ended.
Then taking stock can take place, and then we can begin to answer these delicate questions of what to do next.
You can donate to the Canadian Red Cross.
The Government of Canada is matching ALL donations.
If you pray, please pray for those who have lost, for those who are Fighting Fire and all those who are doing their best to help those who need it most right now.
More to come, Stay tuned …