Like the title of the Foo Fighter’s hit, Burn Away, a huge part of Canada is on fire and burning away.
A fire of about 600,000 acres is burning in northern Alberta, Canada. Since May first, 2016 it has engulfed towns and left at least 9,000 people homeless and thousands more unable to return home. It is still burning and it will take months to contain and extinguish. Many people were not allowed to go back to their homes for personal property or pets. More than 700 firefighters, 134 pieces of heavy equipment, 37 helicopters, 13 tankers, and four water bombers are fighting the fires. Some of the firemen are from as far away as Mexico. No one knows what started the fire yet. We may not know for months. Conventional theories range from lightning to a campfire or a cigarette. Some people are blaming the oil industry, others are praising it. Some newspaper articles blame climate change and others state that climate change is not to blame. Snopes is debunking some of the wilder theories.
The community of Ft. McMurray was evacuated first. There is only one major highway leading away from Ft. McMurray. The Southbound road was almost gridlocked. Cars ran out of gas, people had no food, and many had no cash to buy either one. The fire forced 25,000 people to flee north when it jumped a river and the highway. When the fire turned north, the RCMP escorted those people back through the fire to safety. Some people evacuated to nearby towns, then evacuated again when the fire continued to spread. Most of the evacuees are in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta. People are staying in schools, community halls, and other public buildings. Some people have friends or family to stay with, but others might be in temporary housing for months. One man who evacuated From Ft. McMurray watched his home burn on his cell phone. A man from Nova Scotia evacuated from Ft. McMurray only to learn his home in Nova Scotia had burnt to the ground.
There are some rays of sunshine amid the smoke. Canadians are stepping in to aid the people of northern Alberta. Donations of clothing, food, and money have poured in. There are even people organizing proms and donating dresses to displaced students. None of the schools in Ft. McMurray burnt down. Cars abandoned on the side of the road are being towed to a safe place for free. The Canadian federal government is matching all donations made to the red cross. One woman was in labor during the evacuation. A helicopter took her to Edmonton where she gave birth to a healthy son in a hospital. The SPCA is looking for and evacuating pets. So far 244 pets are safe in shelters. Tide laundry detergent is assisting those currently displaced by the Ft. McMurray fires. The Tide Loads of Hope services allows those displaced from Fort McMurray and workers to drop off their laundry to be washed, dried and folded, free of charge. The services will be free to all evacuees, responders, and their families.
Smoke from the Canadian Wildfire is creating poor air quality and reduced visibility in parts of Alberta and could cause problems for children, seniors and those with respiratory health issues. Don’t needlessly burn away money if you take Symbicort to help you breathe or have any other prescriptions to fill. Contact searchRX for discount coupons. You can download their app and start saving now.