DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: Evacuated From Canadas Wildfires but With Nowhere to Turn

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DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: Evacuated From Canadas Wildfires but With Nowhere to Turn

David Dillard
Administrator



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DISASTERS: FIRE :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: CANADA :

TOURISM AND TRAVEL:

Evacuated From Canadas Wildfires but With Nowhere to Turn

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Evacuated From Canadas Wildfires but With Nowhere to Turn

By IAN AUSTEN and DAN LEVIN

May 5, 2016

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/world/americas/fort-mcmurray-
alberta-fire.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=world/americas&module=
Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&
contentCollection=Americas&pgtype=article

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jtkk2pa

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EDMONTON, Alberta  The passengers arrived through an airport gate normally
used as an exit. Some had bulging oversize bags, others nothing more than
a shopping bag or backpack. And all around were an unusual number of
children, along with dogs and cats of all sizes.

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The arrivals at Edmonton International Airport were part of an effort to
re-evacuate about 8,000 people who had fled north from Fort McMurray,
Alberta, as vast wildfires moved in on it this week, only to find
themselves cut off from the rest of Canada as the blaze spanned the only
highway south.

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Its just surreal, I dont know what to do, Lory Curnew told her former
neighbor Marlene McDonald as they stood by a baggage carousel. Its
devastating to say the least.

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The evacuees had taken refuge in work camps normally used by oil sands
workers. But some of those camps quickly became overcrowded. The
combination of the camps being cut off and the remote possibility that the
fire could swing their way, has led to the airlift, which will last for
days. While the evacuees arrival in Edmonton brought them to safety, it
only reinforced the uncertainty they now face having fled a town where
much, including many of their homes, has been reduced to ashes.

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They had been among the Canadians drawn to Fort McMurray by jobs that paid
exceptionally high wages during the oil boom. That beacon dimmed with the
global plunge in petroleum prices, but the oil industrys downturn is now
the least of their concerns. And although her future is far from clear,
Ms. Curnew, like many of the evacuees, is already skeptical about promises
from politicians that Fort McMurray will rise again.

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For a lot of people, I dont think theyll go back, said Ms. Curnew, a
single mother who worked in construction and who arrived with a single
suitcase, her 15-year-old son, Parker, and two dogs. You just cant go back
there with no services, no food coming in, no anything. You just cant go
back there.

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snip

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Yet it is already difficult to foresee that a city of about 90,000 people
that struggled with explosive growth earlier in this decade will emerge in
the same form. And for the thousands of its residents who have nothing to
return to, there is no new Canadian boomtown to replace it.

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snip

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What will replace the ashes of Fort McMurray and what to do with the
displaced remained questions for the future on Thursday. While
temperatures that were unusually warm even for midsummer were replaced by
more seasonable conditions on Thursday, the fire showed no obvious signs
of abating. Fire officials told reporters that without significant
rainfall, it could remain out of control and continue growing for several
more days. Aerial bombers were covering the buildings still standing in
Fort McMurray with water and flame retardants. But officials said those
measures would not guarantee the buildings protection.

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Fort McMurray has loomed large in the collective imagination of Canada. To
environmentalists, its name is synonymous with degradation. Others view
the oil sands a major technological achievement. And many Canadians,
without ever visiting, imagined an out-of-control boom town rampant with
crime and social problems. Both, along with eye-popping real estate
prices, exist but became inflated in retellings beyond the city.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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