Fire Earth

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Archive for May 16th, 2011

Oil spill in NW Alberta

Posted by feww on May 16, 2011

Image of the week:

Major pipeline ruptures in Western Canada

28, 000 barrels of oil swamps a wetland area near native community at Evi, Alberta

Rainbow Pipeline’s oil spill, the worst Alberta oil spill since 1975, dumped at least 28, 000 barrels of oil into a wetland area at Evi, 12 km (7.5 miles) from Little Buffalo, Alberta, Canada on May 5, 2011. Photograph by: Greenpeace/ via edmontonjournal

The spill has reportedly caused the death of dozens of beavers and waterfowls.  Residents of the village of Little Buffalo have complained of dizziness and nausea, caused by the strong, obnoxious odor.

“In 2006, the line ruptured 10 km (6 miles) south of Slave Lake, Alberta, spilling 7,500 barrels of oil. Investigators said stress-corrosion cracking, fatigue cracking and external coating failure combined to cause the leak,” said a report.

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Slave Lake Burning – Update 1

Posted by feww on May 16, 2011

Hundreds of buildings consumed by forest fires in Slave Lake

Entire town forced to evacuate: Many of the 7,000 residents “trapped

Mayoral Quote of the Day:  “It’s incredible how quickly things can change.”

Slave Lake City Hall burns. Photo Credit:  Staff at 92.7 Lake FM, the local radio station which was also consumed by fire.

Some 84 fires are burning as of Sunday morning, including 29 burning out of control: Alberta govt.

Local Emergency Notices:

  •  May 15 at 9:30 PM –  Full evacuation of Town of Slave Lake ordered
  • 12:45pm Evacuation for entire Southshore has been ordered. All residents must register at Northern Lakes College.

The Road Out of Slave Lake

“The winds just keep fanning it hotter and hotter and hotter, and the wind’s not slowing down. I’m scared for the people that are in Slave Lake right now,” said Mandy Jeworski, 27, who fled her home west of Slave Lake Sunday afternoon,  taking this photo on her way out. (Credit: Mandy Jeworski/via Globe and Mail).

“Meanwhile, flames blocked all but one road, trapping many residents in the town and leaving officials to urge people to simply flee to wide open parking lots or beaches, and hope the fire doesn’t reach them. Traffic along the one highway was slow, as residents navigated through thick smoke amid waning daylight Sunday evening.” Said a report.

“I tell you the situation there is critical. It’s very critical. We’re doing everything we can,” said Mel Knight, Alberta’s Minister of Sustainable Resource Development (!), who’s also responsible for forest fire response.

“Fire has breached the town of Slave Lake boundary along the southern portion. Please move towards large green areas, beaches or large parking lots like Walmart, Canadian Tire, or the Sawridge Mall parking lot,” a notice posted on Sunday evening said.

The fire conditions are expected to deteriorate Monday, as higher temperatures, sunny skies and wind gusts of up to 70 km/h is forecast, the report said.

“The challenge right now is we’re expecting increased winds and the temperature is expected to increase,” said Karina Pillay-Kinnee, the mayor of Slave Lake.  “It’s incredible how quickly things can change.”

Alberta Govt Notices:

Status of major fires at 2 p.m. Sunday:

  • Town of Slave Lake and MD of Lesser Slave River 124 Two separate wildfires are out of control and burning approximately 2,000 hectares. Both the Town of Slave Lake and the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River have declared States of Emergency. Sunday afternoon, an evacuation order for south shore communities east of – and including – Canyon Creek was issued by the Municipal District (780-849-4888; please refer to for road closure information). Evacuees are encouraged to register at Northern Lakes College in the Town of Slave Lake.
  • Loon River First Nation
    A State of Emergency is in effect for the community, located 7 kilometres from the town of Red Earth Creek. A 16,000-hectare fire is out of control and has closed Highway 88 through the community. An evacuation alert is in effect and the reception centre is established at St. Isidore Community Hall. As well, clean-up operations at Plains Midstream Canada’s Rainbow pipeline release site have been suspended due to the fire.
  • Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
    A 16,000-plus hectare wildfire is out of control in the Richardson backcountry area and burning across the Athabasca River. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and RCMP are conducting evacuations of the area.
  • Clearwater County
    Five fires totalling about 200 hectares are burning north of Rocky Mountain House. Crimson Lake Provincial Park and a privately owned campground in the Rocky Mountain House area were evacuated Saturday due to a wildfire approximately two kilometres away.

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Slave Lake on Fire

Posted by feww on May 16, 2011

Extreme Fire Conditions in Alberta

State of Emergency Declared: 1,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes near  Slave Lake

The two wildfires near Slave Lake are said to be the worst of 70 blazes that are raging throughout the Canadian province.

Wildfires raging near Slave lake,  Alberta, Canada May 15.  Slave Lake is located 250km north of Edmonton. Photos courtesy of Mike Kapusta) via CTV.

The two raging wildfires, fueled by dry weather and high winds, have so far consumed up to a dozen structures, sores of vehicles, an estimated 500 hectares of forest area and destroyed power lines, forcing a mass exodus in Slave Lake and prompting the authorities to declare a state of emergency. 

“Hundreds and hundreds of people have loaded up their vehicles with anything they can carry . . . and they are leaving,” an eyewitness told CTV News Channel late Sunday. “It’s just a traffic jam.”  More …

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