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Posts Tagged ‘Slave Lake’

Slave Lake Hit by Back-to-Back Disasters

Posted by feww on July 10, 2011

First the wildfires devastated Slave Lake; now comes the deluge

Heavy rainfall in northern Alberta causes flooding near Slave Lake.

The mayor, of course, blames the nature:

“You feel like you’re in a war zone and you just have to fight to the end, and Slave Lake is worth fighting for,” said SL mayor, Karina Pillay-Kinnee.

Torrential rains hit the area dumping about 100mm of rain on Friday, when residents woke up to find streets inundated.

Some people who were living in the basements of homes devastated in the May wildfires found their makeshift habitat submerged under floodwater.

Flood warnings have been issued, as more rain is forecast for the region in the coming days, reports said.

A Slave Lake resident is canoeing in his front yard. Frame garb from a CTV news clip.

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Alberta Fires: Oil Production Down 200,000 bpd

Posted by feww on May 19, 2011

Oil companies order more evacuations, as fires threaten facilities

The wildfires raging across northern Alberta have forced a sharp drop in the province’s crude oil production.

Summary of Details

  • Wildfires are forcing the closure of roads and  pipelines.
  • Oil and gas companies have been forced to close down wells in several areas.
  • Crude production has been reduced by at least 100,000 bpd.
  • CEO of Penn West Exploration said: “I would think the number is probably closer to 200,000 barrels per day.” [That’s the equivalent of about 10 per cent of Alberta’s total output.]
  • Fires have already destroyed/affected some production facilities and infrastructure.
  • Production around Slave Lake is said to be the worst affected.
  • “The fires are viciously out of control,” Penn West chief executive officer Bill Andrew said.
  • FIRE-EARTH said: Murphy’s law has no time vector!

Slave Lake Complex Fire Map

Source: industrymailout. Click image to enlarge. PDF file available HERE

WILDFIRE UPDATE [md124 – May 17: 9:15 PM]

(provincial fire ban in effect for all public and park lands)

  • Currently 100 wildfires in Alberta:
  • 23 out-of-control wildfires (15 in Lesser Slave Lake area)
  • More than 100,000 hectares of forest have burned since April 1 – more than the area burned over Alberta’s entire 2010 wildfire season.

Alberta Fires (YTD)

  • Total Fires: 459 (Five-year Average: 395)
  • Total Hectares Burned:  186,897.40  (Five-year Average: 2,145.71 Ha)

Official Sites:

Provincial Wildfire Situation Report:

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Slave Lake Fires (Update 3): The Ghost Town

Posted by feww on May 18, 2011

The Grass in Slave Lake Has Turned Black

Wildfires consumed 2,000 hectares of Slave Lake destroying or damaging 1,000 buildings

“[Many hundreds of] homes or businesses have been destroyed by fire,” said mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee. “There are hundreds more on top of that damaged.”

The city is a site of utter destruction with everything burned down, melted, turned into rubble and ash. The city looks like a miniature version of Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped on her.

“This is a first time experience for us,” the mayor said. “We had multiple fires on either end of the community. What I’m thankful for at this point is we have no loss of life.”

Neither the Hiroshima residents, nor the uranium miners and the coolies, had any chance, however.

Port Radium, Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Some 50 percent of the homes in the SE section of the city have been destroyed, Slave Lake Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee was quoted as saying. Many building were also lost in other parts, especially in the NW quadrant.

“When you turn the corner and whole subdivisions are gone—you don’t even recognize your community anymore, and that startled me,” the mayor said.

“I don’t know when in history we’ve evacuated at least 7,000 people in such a short period of time,” said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

“We’ve had large grass fires, we’ve had forest fires, but not so many homes lost.”

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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.

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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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