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Thread: Fort McMurray fire

  1. #1
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    Fort McMurray fire

    The Fort McMurray wildfire in northern Alberta is carving a new path of destruction, destroying an oilsands camp while racing eastward toward more industry sites.

    The fire, which has become known as "the beast," has grown by a staggering 57,000 hectares in the last 24 hours, consuming 423,000 hectares of boreal forest as of Wednesday morning.

    Wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather attributes the "pretty significant" growth to "extreme fire conditions."

    "It's really being burning intensely and the winds have been carrying it," he said Wednesday.

    The fire forced 8,000 non-essential workers to flee the area Monday night, and a mandatory evacuation order remains in place for all work camps north of the city.

    The majority were sent by ground to work camps near Fort MacKay, about 53 kilometres to the north. But some were also bused, or later flown, south to Edmonton and Calgary.

    By Tuesday morning, the flames had made their way to the Blacksand Executive Lodge, which provides accommodations to hundreds of workers in the area.

    The building's sprinkler system was no match for the raging inferno, and all 665 units of the building were consumed by the fire.

    Within hours, the flames had spread east, threatening the Noralta Lodge Fort McMurray Village, a facility that can house more than 3,000 people, and Horizon North's Birch Mountain, a 540-unit facility.

    Noralta officials took to social media Tuesday night to say the fire had been held back, but the site was still at risk and crews would be working through the night to protect the facility.


    This fire is now considered to be the most expensive event in Canadian Insurance history.

    Learn more about the fire at:

    Alastair


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  3. #2
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    Re: Fort McMurray fire

    Here’s why Canada’s largest water bomber wasn’t available” in Fort Mac




    Alastair

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  5. #3

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    Re: Fort McMurray fire

    I fought forest fires for many years and would suggest everyone needs to be a bit cautious about jumping to conclusions about the Martin Mars and other air support. Logistics is everything in fire suppression, just as it is in military operations. The Martin Mars requires a huge lake to pick up water and I'm not sure there are any suitable lakes near Fort Mac. Smaller aircraft can use smaller lakes and make faster turnarounds. There is also a safety limit to the number of aircraft that can operate in a single area: there are tankers, helicopters, fixed wing observation aircraft, etc. all working in a relatively small airspace and air traffic control can be a nightmare. There are also issues of fuel supply, parking space on the local airport, etc.. etc. etc. Finally, just because an operator offers aircraft does not mean they should be deployed. These operators are in business and the financial rewards of fire fighting are huge, so of course they're going to try and get into the action. The choice of whether to increase air attack capacity is made by the fire fighting branch of government at the scene of the fire, not by the Premier in the legislature. It's never wise to second guess the personnel on the ground.

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