Canadian Inferno: Fort McMurray, AB Loses Hundreds of Homes in Forest Fire

Canadian Inferno: Fort McMurray, AB Loses Hundreds of Homes in Forest Fire

Ivette Avina, Writer

In Canada, Fort McMurray went up in flames on the 5th of April. This was a wildfire that burned about 325 square miles which had forced the evacuation of 88,000 people. This fire was so intense that it evidently formed its own weather and produced lightning which had then set more trees on fire increasing the magnitude of the fire. Many scientists and researchers are saying that the fire looks a lot like climate change which should be alarming. 40 wildfires burning out of control that had started April 5th of 2016. About 1,600 homes were burned, many buildings were scorched, and there were many who had to evacuate. With thousands of people trying to escape the area, traffic was everywhere and devastation was in the air.  

Wildfires in Canada are said to have doubled since the 70’s. The cause of these fires is said to be human-caused climate change, pollution, and global warming. Other scientists who have studied climate change say fires are more likely to happen as temperature increases. The weather the day of the fire had high temperatures which could have been the cause of the fire. The exact temperature of that day before tragedy struck, was 91 degrees Fahrenheit. According to climate data for Canada the previous record was set in 1945 for only  82 degrees Fahrenheit.

This fire was very close to the oil sands region which is where fossil fuel extraction happens. This fire was so immense it earned its own name in the news, ‘Canadian Inferno’ because it was said to look like hell as you drove through. The entire town of Fort McMurray had to evacuate, a real tragedy for those who had to leave their homes behind with all of their belongings. 20% of Fort McMurray homes were burned. Thankfully Canadian officials have begun to put out the fires and operation clean-up is on the way. No deaths had been reported and 80% of the community is still standing.