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Slave Lake Fires (Update 2): 40% of the City Destroyed

Posted by feww on May 17, 2011

Alberta emergency at max level: 4

116 wildfires burning in Alberta with 34 blazes raging out of control

“We’ve burned about 55,000 hectares of real estate already.”

The emergency response level was raised to the maximum level of four, indicating a “governmentwide, sustained response,”  the first time since the mega deluge devastated southern Alberta in 2005.

Photo Credit: Shane O’Brien, Reader Photo, edmontonjournal. Photo uploaded by  Shannon DoS Santos: “The Slave Lake fire devastated my family there. These pictures should not have been taken just an hour after the fire wiped out my brother’s home on 6th Ave. He snuck down the hill from the evacuation spot and took these pictures. He lost everything and is still trying to find out what to [do] as they have been evacuated from several other areas.”

“We’ve burned about 55,000 hectares of real estate already.” Sustainable Resources Development Minister Mel Knight said. 

City Hall, the local radio station,  hundreds of homes, businesses, cars, trucks, campers, motorcycles, everything burned.

In the upmarket Slave Lake’s southeast at least 200 properties, “ranging in price from $300,000 to $500,000” were destroyed, a report said.

The fires have also forced road closures, halted rail transport, and stopped oil operations in northern Alberta, reports say.

Provincewide Emergency

Slave Lake and several surrounding towns and communities have declared states of emergency, however, the government has not yet issued a provincewide declaration, said Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister Hector Goudreau.

Wild Assumptions

“It’s going to take a couple years to rebuild the town, there’s no doubt.” Mr Goudreau declared.

What’s happened to Slave Lake is pretty awful, of course, and people need shelter.

However, the Minister seems to be basing his estimate on the wild assumption that there would be no other disasters occurring in Alberta, or in the rest of the country for that matter, to affect the town’s rebuilding schedule.

The human-enhanced natural events that are about to unfold in Canada, North America, and indeed throughout the world, may unpleasantly surprise the Minister. 

Alberta Fires – Satellite Images

Click images to enlarge

Download largest image (5 MB, JPEG)

These images were acquired by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Top and middle images were taken on May 16, 2o11, bottom image on May 15. Source: NASA-EO. Download largest  image (3 MB, JPEG). Click images to enlarge.

5 Responses to “Slave Lake Fires (Update 2): 40% of the City Destroyed”

  1. christine said

  2. d-m said

    New eruption at Aso caldera in japan.

  3. d-m said

    As one who appreciates irony, the comment about rebuilding in 2 years is duly noted. I am always skeptical when I see someone related to “sustainable development.”

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