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Tar Sands Boomtown Blaze Still 'Burning Out of Control'


Tar Sands Boomtown Blaze Still 'Burning Out of Control'

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The Alberta wildfire that has been dubbed The Beast and described as a post-apocalyptic nightmare is still burning "out of control," according to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who gave a briefing Saturday afternoon in Edmonton.

"In no way is this fire under control," she reiterated.


From the photo, seems like people streaming in and out of fort mcmoney?
What gives?


BP Oil disaster in the Gulf, Fukushima, Oil Train Bombs, and now Alberta wildfire--the face of Western Industrial-Technological "Civilization". May we outgrow our madness.


Is this really a surprise? I mean, when I first heard about this, I said, "it was only a matter of time". Maybe that's cold-blooded, or maybe not. I'm sorry for all the people who lost so much-no home, no possessions-but this monster, the tar sands, was a disaster already, by it's own existence. This fire is just the result of the devastation it was already wreaking upon the earth. It's no different than the Gulf oil well leak or the Exxon Valdez. Now the real horror show begins. How long will this fire burn, scorching more of the earth? How can it be kept from reigniting? And, how soon do gas prices start to climb? What's to become of this area now? Personally I wish it could just be completely abandoned and left, although that is certainly not probable nor practical. But that would sure be better than continuing to take tar sands out of it. I don;'know, except to say that Mother is getting weary of all that we're doing to her. The people that are/were profiting from this place are, sadly, only pondering their financial losses right now, nothing else I'm sure.


Well said! Thank you.


People should not overly fixate on the location of the fire wherein it becomes "well it can not happen here we do not have tarsands" mentality. Almost directly West is another huge fire in North Eastern BC which might see more towns evacuated.

The tarsands plants are a cause of warming which in turn lead to climate change and ever drier forests but it affects the climate everywhere and not just around Ft McMurray , just as the environmental damage in the Amazon affects everyone or that in China.

These massive forest fires were predicted in the climate change model which speaks to how imperative the entire world start transferring off fossil fuels. The Porter Ranch gas leak added Greenhouse gases, the tarsands plants add greenhouse gases, fracking for gas in France adds greenhouse gases as does the rapid growth of industry in China.

Here in Canada I support the Green Party and have done so almost since their inception. They are the only Political party that has a serious platform regarding the need to switch to renewable sources of energy replacing ALL other sources. We still only have one member elected to Parliament. I hope this a wakeup call to Canadians. Jobs at any cost will mean more of these fires and all of these costs , both direct economic costs and more importantly to our precious ecosystem.


My thought/question exactly. Photo clearly shows headlights and taillights - two different directions of travel and only one road through the town - route 63.


Those are taillights in one direction and headlights in the other direction.
I would agree, why would anyone want to go toward the fires, but with that many people going the "Wrong Way", there must be a logical reason for it.


I can not make sense of it either. . I guess it possible that the people from one of the neighborhoods on one side of the Highway can not cross it higher up for some reason so have to come down the hill and loop back but it hard to imagine why.

Edit. I looked at the picture a little more closely and it hard to place exactly which highway this is. I do not think it the section of highway 63 on the south side of the river that heads out of town. This looks more like a highway that feeds a neighborhoood called Timberlae or Thickwood heights. Of course it has been many years since I lived there so I might be wrong.


Traffic jams probably. Possibly two separate entrances to the same road but from different directions. Photos can be misleading but one thing for sure is that every inch of road is packed with vehicles. A nightmare.


Seems like we got headlights goin one direction and tailights goin the other, a kind of lemming effect? A mild panic, probably connected to petroleum fatigue, a fatigue that seeps to the nucleus of every living cell on the planet.


The mountain pine beetle has been devastating western pine forests in the US and Canada since the early 2000s, leaving entire forests dead, tinder dry. Their rise from an occasional pest to existential threat is attributed to climate change; apparently they have had longer breeding periods recently.



The First Nations peoples that live in the region warned the BC Government almost 30 years ago that if they persisted in extinguishing every forest fire as they started they would have to deal with Forests killed by the pine beetle.

The Pine Beetle has two things that help check its poulation that are not natural predators like the wood pecker.

They are cold winters with long cold snaps and fire.


First thing: which lane of traffic is running from the fire?


Thanks for perspective. I'd heard the criticism that management practices designed to serve the immediate needs desires of the timber industry were in part to blame, but I hadn't heard the specifics - that fire controlled the beetle and extinguishing every one of them would unleash devastation. Cold I knew!


This from the Eco-Socialists: http://www.thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HansBaer.pdf


Thanks for that link. It excellent!


I haven't heard anyone mention it, though I'm sure others have thought it as I have. If the tar sands catch on fire the 20 years we might have left could be gone in 2. Or something like that.


Where do you get this stuff? They suppressed fires to service the timber industry not to alleviate the allergies of easterners...lol. Groan and grimace! Generally the customary work around is to leave a row of trees alongside the road so that the road runs through a tree lined corridor and they would clear cut everything behind the trees. That was the only accommodation to the visual sensibilities of anyone locals or easterners. They do it still.


It's the media trying to convey the message "tar sands = wildfire". It matches the climate change and anti fossil fuel agenda their sponsors having them.push. The fact that we kept extinguishing the files for the last 50 years and all that underbrush accumulated there eludes them.