By Gwyneth Allred
Many people have heard about the Fort McMurray fire in Canada and the massive destruction that has been blazing through Alberta. Though this fire started at the beginning of May and has died down in the news for the most part, it is still burning hot and heavy through Canada.
Since May 1st, the Fort McMurray fire has been burning through a particularly dangerous part of Alberta: oil country. After the fire spread from the woods southwest of town to a quarter of the city, officials ordered a complete evacuation of Fort McMurray, a city with a population of 80,000, and energy manufacturers shut down their operations.
Because this El Niño year brought very little moisture in the winter time, Canada is extremely dry with forests that are prime for burning. This has only aided the destruction from the fire and made it more difficult for the thousands of firefighters working around the clock to control it. Since the beginning of this fire, over 500,000 hectares of land has burned. This is roughly “six times the size of New York City”.
Now, evacuees of the Fort McMurray area have been told they may be able to come back and begin rebuilding their homes as soon as June 1st. 1 Sadly, on top of the massive destruction they will have to deal with, there has also been a black bear warning issued. Since there were no people around, black bears have begun to scavenge the city’s remains and may pose a danger to those returning.
It is our hope that once this fire is controlled and put out, “With glowing hearts we [will] see thee rise [from the ashes], The True North strong and free!” We're rooting for you, Canada!