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#223708 - 05/16/11 03:11 PM Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3035
Loc: Alberta, Canada
This is a little too close to home.

We've have unusually strong, steady winds combined with very dry surface conditions over the last week.

The same winds, gusting up to 100 kph, pushed a wildfire into the town of Slave Lake, a small community of about 7,000, about 3 hours' drive north of me. A hasty mandatory evacuation ensued and about a third of the town burned to the ground.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Thousands+flee+Slave+Lake/4790689/story.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...#articlecontent

On a personal note, the same winds totally trashed my antique windmill, which has been standing since the 1930s. I need to figure out how to put a line on the thing, which is now a widowmaker, three stories up and hanging by a thread.

But first, I'm going out to re-mow and widen a few firebreaks in case some idiot tosses a cigarette butt into the ditch.


Edited by dougwalkabout (05/16/11 03:13 PM)

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#223711 - 05/16/11 03:34 PM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7618
Loc: southern Cal
Hang in there! I hope the situation resolves in your favor. Fires seem to be the one disaster we all must face, whether we live in earthquake country or in tornado/hurricane areas.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#223714 - 05/16/11 04:59 PM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3035
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Spent the last hour widening my firebreaks, and knocking down any tall, dry grass that could lead a fire into my yard. Fortunately the grass is greening up in the ditches, so the odds of a fast-moving fire are greatly diminished.

My to-do list is mostly cleanup at this point. Nothing compared to the problems that folks north of me are having.


Edited by dougwalkabout (05/16/11 05:00 PM)

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#223730 - 05/16/11 10:04 PM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Fingers crossed here that nothing happens. Besides, you know the rule: if you prepare for it, it won't happen; if you think it won't happen, it will.

Good luck! Fingers, toes and eyes crossed for you.

Sue

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#223731 - 05/16/11 10:32 PM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Good luck Doug. Stay safe! I hear it's pretty nasty in some spots.

All my crossables are crossed for you.
_________________________
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#223741 - 05/16/11 11:47 PM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1415
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Hope all is well Doug. A friend of mine from BC Forest Service Firefighters has been called up to fight the fire and is enroute.

Just watched Global National and I cannot believe how dry it is up there for this time of year. Most people do not realize how far north Slave Lake is from Edmonton which is what about 450 miles from the USA border? Must be another a few hundred more clicks to Slave...it should still be winter this time of year.

Keep safe, my friend.

Teslin, - Back from self imposed ETS exile.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#223751 - 05/17/11 03:08 AM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3035
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I appreciate the kind thoughts, but to be clear I'm a long way from the danger zone. (As long as I don't get my head taken off by a thousand pounds of dangling cast iron windmill.)

My thoughts and hopes are with the people who have lost their homes and, to some degree, their community. And especially with the firefighters coming in from BC, Ontario, and elsewhere. We can use the help right now, and will reciprocate whenever we can. I believe there are also agreements where US and Canadian firefighters exchange resources as needed, though I don't think that is in play yet. Pray for rain. This news story has a NASA pic of the many fires in the area -- notice how the smoke plumes indicate an unvarying wind from the southeast. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Hundreds+homes+just+smouldering+rubble/4793473/story.html

P.S., Welcome back, Teslin. We need some boots-on-the-ground opinions to balance my comfy LaZBoy musings. Hope you have more pics of those wild BC mountains for us.


Edited by dougwalkabout (05/17/11 03:10 AM)

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#223799 - 05/18/11 12:11 AM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 959
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
This is a little too close to home.

We've have unusually strong, steady winds combined with very dry surface conditions over the last week.
The same winds, gusting up to 100 kph, pushed a wildfire into the town of Slave Lake, a small community of about 7,000, about 3 hours' drive north of me. A hasty mandatory evacuation ensued and about a third of the town burned to the ground.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Thousands+flee+Slave+Lake/4790689/story.html
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...#articlecontent

On a personal note, the same winds totally trashed my antique windmill, which has been standing since the 1930s. I need to figure out how to put a line on the thing, which is now a widowmaker, three stories up and hanging by a thread.
But first, I'm going out to re-mow and widen a few firebreaks in case some idiot tosses a cigarette butt into the ditch.


I'm waiting to hear from my nephew. He left a cryptic message on FB about him being in h*ll, fire and brimstone, etal. He's a helitak fighter based in a couple hours away from Slave Lake and we've all been guessing that his crew was called in to be on the ground fighting this fire. He's probably out of cell phone range or else he's too busy to post from his smart phone. Either way the winds of the last couple of days (up to 100 kph) are making the firefighters job a big one. They've been calling in crews from other provinces to help as well. But nothing can be done about the fire that ravaged the town now. All that's left is to dowse the embers and prepare to rebuild.

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#223808 - 05/18/11 01:52 AM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: dougwalkabout]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Slave Lake residents wonder why call to evacuate never came:
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/nation...?service=mobile

"...evacuees repeatedly question why there was no advance warning for a fire that razed about 300 homes and damaged another 300, according to town estimates. Scores of families are homeless and left without anything, saying they’d be much better off now if they had been given even an hour’s notice."
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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#223809 - 05/18/11 01:54 AM Re: Wind, wildfire and evacuation in Alberta [Re: Roarmeister]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Roarmeister

I'm waiting to hear from my nephew... He's a helitak fighter based in a couple hours away from Slave Lake and we've all been guessing that his crew was called in to be on the ground fighting this fire.


I hope he's ok, Roar!
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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