The Alberta/Fort McMurray Wild Fire (Update)

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Remember that big wild fire that threatened, and damaged, Fort MacMurray, causing major evacuation in the oil sands mining region of Canada?

Well, the fire never went out and has now changed directions to threaten settlements again.

Update (mid day Tuesday): The fire is now actually burning some homes/buildings in Ft. McMurray. One of them may have actually exploded. Maybe two.

On the other hand, the oil sands camps to the north seem to be less threatened, or not threatened. The area around these sites are clear of major vegetation, and there are “industrial firefighters” on the scene.

The main concern outside of Fort McMurray are logging facilities that are deep in the forest.

In fact the fire may be worse. I don’t think the Alberta fire services were making accurate estimates of the fire’s size for a few days there last week because they were a bit distracted, but the fire maxed out on their information service web site at about 150,000 hectares. At present, the fire is over 250,000 hectares, and still “out of control” according to that service.
This time, Fort McMurray is being threatened again, but also, the fire seems to be moving north towards the big oil sands work areas, which were previously not directly threatened by the burn (though menaced by the smoke).

The Syncrude and Suncor oil sands sites are being evacuated with employees moved to the north. Various camps out in the nearby wilderness are under mandatory evacuation. The oil sands evacuations are precautionary and suggested not mandatory, as I understand it.

The total number of people being moved around is in the hundreds, not thousands, mainly because the previously evacuated people are still evacuated.

Fort McMurray is probably not going to burn again, mainly because the nearby forest has already been burned. But the threat to the Oil Sands facilities to the north is very real.

Please read: On The Meaning of the Fort McMurray Fire.

More info from the Edmonton Journal.

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