Friday, May 06, 2016

Fort McMurray wildfires -- May 6th update

I posted another update with links to photos and videos of the Fort McMurray wildfire on May 10th

May 6 2016, 3:45 PM EDT

Some photos of the Fort McMurray wildfires for you:

May 6 2016, 11:40 AM EDT and updated at 1:20 PM EDT

I have been following the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta as best I can and as time allows. For those of you that might want to catch up you might want to see the article I wrote on May 4th with updates on May 5th. In addition, later on May 5th I shared a CBC interview with the gentlemen who shot some dash cam video as he was evacuating Fort McMurray this past Tuesday.

I was chatting over e-mail with a good friend, now retired from the wildland firefighting business, about the Fort McMurray wildfires. He commented that "sometimes Mother Nature takes charge and we just have to get out of the way." Got me thinking. I was hoping that I could easily find something amongst all the media coverage about the fire that would speak to that point. I saw this article in todays New York Times by Fernanda Santos called Forces of Nature Conspire Against Firefighters Around Fort McMurray (with a video). Here is an excerpt:
How do you stop a big, fast-moving wildfire like the one ravaging Fort McMurray, Alberta? The answer is, you can’t. 
Don Whittemore, a senior disaster response manager from Boulder, Colo., who has trained teams of firefighters in the United States and abroad, compared the task to “trying to stop a hurricane from hitting the Eastern Seaboard.”
Thank the stars that all of Fort McMurray and some towns to the south have been evacuated. On Tuesday, some evacuees went north the the oil sands worker camps. Starting early this morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been escorting evacuees and workers from the northern oil sands worker camps in convoys of 50 south of Fort McMurray. The Mounties will be leading and following the convoys with  a helicopter over head. The hope is that by the end of the day 1,500 who had been staying in the oil sands worker camps will be evacuated to places south of Fort McMurray. For more information on these convoys see this CBC Edmonton report (with videos, last updated May 6th, 11 AM MT) and a report from the Edmonton Journal (with videos and photos).

If any of you are looking for some maps of the Fort McMurray area, here is a nice interactive report from the New York Times (May 4th) with a map, photos, and a video. I found a map of the Fort McMurray area mapping out on the Edmonton Journal last night, the map may be found here.

According to a CBC Edmonton report (last updated May 6th, 11 AM MT) the Fort McMurray wildfires have burned approximately 100,000 hectares as of the morning of May 6th or about 247,000 acres.

Finally, CBC has a webpage with eleven videos of the  Fort McMurray wildfire, posted on May 5th (6:30 AM local time). You may have seen some of these videos already.

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