Fort McMurray from the Ashes

Fort McMurray wildfire could burn for months
Fire still feeding off dry boreal forest, weather expected to cool in coming days

Fire officials say the Fort McMurray wildfire is still spreading and is so massive that only a significant amount of rain can bring it under control.

Wind gusts of 40 to 70 km/h were expected in the region Sunday, and possibly light rain, as part of a cold front that’s moving into northern Canada.

The winds will help fuel the flames and what little moisture there is should not bring much relief to those battling the fire.…

Rex Murphy: For Fort McMurray, better days will come

Even before this week, before the fires, before the evacuation, Fort McMurray wasn’t an easy place to live. That isn’t to say that the people who lived there, along with the people who chose to work there (the many who flew in and out in the effort to keep family links alive) didn’t like it. The engineering sophistication of the overall project and the front-rank technologies being deployed were a source of pride and achievement. Had that sophistication and those technologies been associated with any industry other than dread energy, Fort Mac would have been showered with awards and trophies.

And Fort Mac was a town proud as any other town in the country. In my visit with producer Charles Shanks for Cross Country Checkup a few years back, I saw and felt that first hand. There people we met — the long-term locals, the great, scattered band of workers and families that came from all over Canada and the world — showed full volume that they loved where they were, what they were doing, the place they were building. We met the wonderful, quiet and commanding mayor of the time, Melissa Blake, who was doing her best to balance the roaring dynamism of the place, her hands full with the effort to ground Fort Mac as a real “home,” rather than just a workplace. And, simultaneously, trying to push back against the hurricane of negative and sometimes quite bitter attacks on her town from the relentless publicists, national and international, who put up Fort Mac as the globe’s No. 1 villain in the climate wars.…

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