DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: 88,000 Evacuated as Canada Wildfire Consumes Whole Neighborhoods

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DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: 88,000 Evacuated as Canada Wildfire Consumes Whole Neighborhoods

David Dillard
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DISASTERS: FIRE :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: CANADA :

TOURISM AND TRAVEL:

88,000 Evacuated as Canada Wildfire Consumes Whole Neighborhoods

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88,000 Evacuated as Canada Wildfire Consumes Whole Neighborhoods

May 4, 2016

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ 
ct-canada-wildfire-oil-sands-town-20160504-story.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/hy8zmo3

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A raging wildfire emptied Canada's main oil sands city, destroying entire
neighborhoods of Fort McMurray, Alberta, where officials warned Wednesday
that all efforts to suppress the fire have failed.

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About 88,000 residents successfully evacuated as flames moved into the
city surrounded by wilderness in the heart of Canada's oil sands. No
injuries have been reported.

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said all 105 patients at the local hospital
had been safely airlifted to other care centers. She said, so far, the
fire had destroyed or damaged an estimated 1,600 structures.

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Unseasonably hot temperatures combined with dry conditions have
transformed the boreal forest in much of Alberta into a tinder box.

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Danielle Larivee, Alberta's Minister of Municipal Affairs, said the
province has declared a state of emergency and said the fire is actively
burning in residential areas. Over 200 firefighters are battling the
blaze. Fatalities have been reported from a collision on a nearby highway
but she was unaware if it was related to the evacuation.

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"This is a nasty, dirty fire. There are certainly areas of the city that
have not been burned, but this fire will look for them and it will find
them and it will want to take them," Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby Allen

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Officials estimated the fire at 7,500 hectares (18,500 acres) and said
they expect it to worsen Wednesday as strong winds and high temperatures
"create explosive conditions."

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Firefighters were working to protect critical infrastructure, including
the only bridge across the Athabasca River and Highway 63, the only major
route to the city in or out. All commercial flights in and out of Fort
McMurray have been suspended. Flames are being kept from the downtown area
thanks to the "herculean'" efforts of firefighters, said Scott Long of the
Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

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"It's a possibility that we may lose a large portion of the town," Long
said.

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called it the biggest evacuation in the
history of the province. Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale
called it one of the largest fire evacuations in Canadian history, if not
the largest. "It's a community of 88,000 people that's been totally
evacuated," Goodale said. "This is going to take a while to recover."

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said while the full extent of the
damage isn't yet known he called it "absolutely devastating" and said
there's a loss on a scale that's hard to imagine. Trudeau said he's
offered the province his government's full support. He encouraged
Canadians to support friends and donate to the Red Cross.


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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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MAY 4 2016, 7:02 PM ET

Fort McMurray Wildfire:
'Nasty, Dirty Fire' Burns Over 18K Acres as More Homes Are Lost

by ERIK ORTIZ, ALEX JOHNSON, JACQUELLENA CARRERO and MATTHEW JOHNSON

NBC News

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/
fort-mcmurray-wildfire-nasty-dirty-fire-burns-over-24k-acres-n568046

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zabvt3n

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The Canadian province of Alberta was under a full state of emergency
Wednesday as a catastrophic wildfire continued to devour neighborhoods in
Fort McMurray, where 80,000 residents were safely evacuated, officials
said.

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By Wednesday afternoon, the fire had scorched about 18,500 acres, said
Scott Long, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.
By mid-evening, it's expected to hit more than 24,700 acres  just about
the size of the island of Manhattan, Long told reporters.

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Authorities earlier had cited higher numbers in both cases  88,000 people
evacuated amid a fire of about 25,000 acres. The reports were revised as
better information became available, they said.

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Still, "this is a nasty, dirty fire," Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby Allen
said, warning that while some areas of the city hadn't been burned, "this
fire will look for them, it will find them, and it will want to take
them."

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snip

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Bernie Schmitte, wildfire manager for the Fort McMurray Wildfire
Management Area, said there was still danger from "very high temperatures,
low relative humidities and some strong winds." The high temperature at 3
p.m. (5 p.m. ET) was 83, a record for May 4, following a record high of 90
on Tuesday.

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Danielle Larivee, Alberta's minister of municipal affairs, said the
provincial cabinet declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon to
centralize decision-making and allocation of resources. One of the first
decisions was to allocate emergency funding of $2 million (US$1.55
million) to the Red Cross to support evacuees directly, she said.

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Bernie Schmitte, wildfire manager for the Fort McMurray Wildfire
Management Area, said there was still danger from "very high temperatures,
low relative humidities and some strong winds." The high temperature at 3
p.m. (5 p.m. ET) was 83, a record for May 4, following a record high of 90
on Tuesday.

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Danielle Larivee, Alberta's minister of municipal affairs, said the
provincial cabinet declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon to
centralize decision-making and allocation of resources. One of the first
decisions was to allocate emergency funding of $2 million (US$1.55
million) to the Red Cross to support evacuees directly, she said.

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snip

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Some residents had just a half-hour to pick up their belongings and leave
in what Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called the biggest evacuation in the
history of the province, one that involved tens of thousands of people at
the same that 1,600 structures were being destroyed.

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More than 250 firefighters, helicopters and air tankers remained in the
area a day after long lines of cars filled highways to get out of town.
Burning debris could be seen falling onto the roads as walls of smoke and
fire filled the distance. A boil water advisory was issued for the entire
region.

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Smoke from the fire was easily visible from space from the Landsat 8
satellite.

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snip

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Firefighters, meanwhile, were working to protect critical infrastructure,
including the only bridge across the Athabasca River and Highway 63, the
only major route to the city in or out.

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Fort McMurray Area Update

Fort McMurray Wildfire Update - May 4, 2016

Posted on Wed, May 04, 2016

http://srd.web.alberta.ca/fort-mcmurray-area-update

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The wildfire in the Fort McMurray area (MMF-009) remains out of control
and has burned approximately 7,686 hectares.

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Alberta Emergency Alert has issued mandatory evacuation for the City of
Fort McMurray. Evacuation information can be found at

http://emergencyalert.alberta.ca/alerts/2016/05/3714.html

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There are firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment working on the
wildfire and more resources are on their way.

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Anyone with resources looking to help with the Fort McMurray wildfire can
send their information to [hidden email]. They are taking
resource inquires via email and will follow up with you.

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Residents should tune into local media for updates. Residents can call the
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo for information at 780-762-3636.

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Canada wildfire: Much of Fort McMurray 'could be destroyed'

BBC News US and Canada

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36207807

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'Catastrophic fire'

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"Bad news does not get better with time," said Scott Long, executive
director of Alberta's Emergency Management Agency.

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"It is a possibility that we may lose a large portion of the town," he
added.

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Fire services said high winds and hot temperatures would make Wednesday an
"even worse day" than Tuesday.

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Bernie Schmitte, an official at Alberta's Agriculture and Forestry
Ministry, said the "catastrophic fire" had so far "resisted all
suppression methods".

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After flying over the burning city, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the
blaze had moved north and east across Fort McMurray.
If the winds behaved as predicted, she added, the blaze would move into
the Thickwood and Timberlea communities, as well as the area around the
airport.

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Officials said the size of the blaze was now 7,500 hectares (29 sq miles)
and it was being tackled by 100 firefighters. Wednesday would "again
create explosive conditions", they said.

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Help from the army and air force is being sent to Fort McMurray but may
take two days to arrive.

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The chief of Fort McMurray's fire department, Darby Allen, said: "It's a
nasty, ugly fire and it's not showing any forgiveness."

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He said staff had worked through the night and all structural fires within
the city were extinguished, but he added that other areas were still at
risk.

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'We got a town to come back to and rebuild': In Anzac, locals dig deep to
help evacuees

By Vincent McDermott

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 2:01:27 MDT PM

Fort McMurray Today

http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/2016/05/04/we-got-a-town-to-come-
back-to-and-rebuild-in-anzac-locals-dig-deep-to-help-evacuees

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jo9lxnt

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Fort McMurray is empty, inhabited only by firefighters and police
officers. Its 88,000 residents are scattered across the province, living
in evacuation centres, hotels, cars and with loved ones.

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As of Wednesday morning,1,600 structures have been destroyed. Almost
nothing remains of Beacon Hill, which suffered 80 per cent loss. Abasand
has suffered a 75 per cent loss and 50 per cent of Waterways  Fort
McMurrays oldest neighbourhood  is gone. Thirteen trailers in Timberlea
have been lost, as have 30 homes in Wood Buffalo. In the morning, the fire
was 10,000 hectares in size and efforts to douse the flames have failed.

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At a press conference from a fire hall on Airport Road in Fort McMurrays
southern half, Mayor Melissa Blake spoke through tears as she reached out
to the displaced.

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Be the brave people that I know you are, she said.

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Anzac, a rural hamlet with a population of 700 and approximately 50
kilometres south of Fort McMurray, was quickly overwhelmed with 8,000
confused and disoriented people fleeing the flames. An evacuation centre
quickly opened at the communitys recreation centre. But trucks carrying
cots from Edmonton ran into the gridlock clogging Highways 63 and 881;
they did not arrive until 3 a.m.

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Only 2,500 to 3,000 people could squeeze into the building. Anyone else
that showed up was directed to one of the work camps dotting Highway 881.

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If you came here, we made sure you were not homeless, said Darryl Woytkiw,
the hamlets former fire chief who was coordinating the evacuation efforts.

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Almost everyone you see here is a resident of Anzac, giving their time, he
said. Local businesses are providing all the food and water they can.
Nexen, ConocoPhillips and the other nearby oilsands sites have been
fantastic.

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Fort McMurray Blaze, Fast and Unpredictable, Keeps Firefighters at a
Distance

By IAN AUSTEN

MAY 4, 2016

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/world/ 
americas/fort-mcmurray-canada-fire.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/gn9r6gs

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Wildfire forces evacuation of Canada's Fort McMurray
Massive blaze sweeps through oil sands region and prompts biggest
evacuation in the history of Alberta state.

04 May 2016 06:07 GMT

Canada, Environment, US & Canada

Aljazeera

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/05/wildfire-forces-
evacuation-canada-fort-mcmurray-160504051556984.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/hw27hvj

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Up to 90,000 evacuated from Fort McMurray; state of emergency declared

CARRIE TAIT, JEFF LEWIS, JEFF JONES AND ANDREA WOO

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, May 04, 2016 1:08PM EDT

Last updated Wednesday, May 04, 2016 8:07PM EDT

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/
fort-mcmurray-burns-this-is-a-nasty-dirty-fire/article29862009/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jzm7nt7

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The toll

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As of late Wednesday afternoon, the 7,500-hectare fire had destroyed about
1,600 buildings.

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There was about a 90 per cent loss of homes in Waterways, according to the
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. In Beacon Hill, the figure was 70
per cent; in Abasand, 50 per cent.

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Chad Morrison, manager of wildfire prevention, said late Wednesday
afternoon the fire continues to expand outside on the borders and the
edges of the fire at this time.

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A highway closure on Tuesday forced most evacuees to drive north, away
from major cities. By Wednesday morning, the highway had reopened, but
fuel had run out, stranding evacuees seeking to drive out of Fort
McMurray. Albertas transportation department said it was escorting a fuel
tanker north to help stranded drivers.

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snip

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Gail Gallupe, president of the McMurray Mis, said the local offices of the
300-member aboriginal group were razed by the fire. She was given 10
minutes by authorities to collect items from the building early on Tuesday
morning.

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But conditions then were fair, so she went to a scheduled meeting at a
nearby hotel before heading home. By 11:30 a.m., she could hear sirens
from emergency vehicles from her condo on Gregoire Drive. She ran outside.

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Honest to God, the fire and the flames and the heat and the smoke was just
billowing towards us, she said Wednesday. She packed a bag with some
documents, her passport, and a few clothes, not a lot, she said. It was 8
p.m. when she finally fled the smoke-filled city, heading to the community
of Anzac, which was overrun with evacuees. She kept going, arriving in
Athabasca, about 300 kilometres to the south, four hours later.

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I have never seen a fire go so quick in my life, but the conditions were
ripe. Everything was dry as tinder here, she said by phone. We were kind
of nonchalant yesterday morning, thinking we would be back in the office
today. Then all hell broke loose.

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Read more here.

http://tinyurl.com/hj5acm8

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The outpouring of support

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People are doing everything they can to help those affected by the
ravaging fire. All across social media, people are showing support, with
offers of food and water, clothing, fuel, and a place for families and
their pets to stay.

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WestJet transported supplies into Fort McMurray, leaving with whomever
needed transportation out of town, including several mothers and newborn
babies fleeing the local hospital. Telus is waiving all additional call
and text charges for Fort McMurray customers until May 17.

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Airbnb has consolidated free accommodations for those displaced by the
fire and is waiving all fees for those affected by the disaster until May
21.

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The domestic and commercial delivery service Big Ds Delivery has been
supplying residents with food, water, and fuel.

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Read more here.

http://tinyurl.com/j5ex3so

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"Obama out:" President Barack Obama's hilarious final White House
correspondents' dinner speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqj2bm1VwF0

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Canada Wild Fire : Fort McMurray hotel burns Live Visuals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzWG7t5a4VA

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WEBBIB1516

http://tinyurl.com/q8tavoy

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