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2016 Fort McMurray wildfire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2016 Fort McMurray wildfire
Horse River Fire
sherwood park weather
Fort McMurray residents evacuating along Highway 63 as the fire encroaches on the area
Location Wood Buffalo, Alberta
Northern Saskatchewan
Date(s) May 1, 2016 – present (MDT)
Burned area 589,552 hectares (1,456,810 acres)
665 work camp units
Injuries 0
Fatalities 0 (direct)
2 (indirect)

The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, also known as the Horse River Fire, is a large wildfire burning in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

On May 1, 2016, the wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta. On May 3, it swept through the community, destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history. It continued to spread across northern Alberta and into Saskatchewan, consuming forested areas and impacting Athabasca oil sands operations The fire spread across approximately 590,000 hectares (1,500,000 acres) before it was declared to be under control on July 5, 2016. It is the costliest disaster in Canadian history.



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The wildfire burning near Fort McMurray on May 1, 2016

A local state of emergency was initially declared on May 1 at 9:57 p.m. (03:57 UTC May 2) with the Centennial Trailer Park, as well as the neighbourhoods of Prairie Creek and Gregoire under a mandatory evacuation. The evacuation orders for the two neighbourhoods were reduced to a voluntary stay-in-place order by the night of May 2 as the fire moved southwest and away from the area. However, the mandatory evacuation order was reinstated and expanded to 12 neighbourhoods on May 3 at 5:00 p.m. (23:00 UTC), and to the entirety of Fort McMurray by 6:49 p.m. (00:49 UTC May 4). A further order covering the nearby communities of Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, and Fort McMurray First Nation was issued at 9:50 p.m. on May 4 (03:50 UTC May 5). It has been reported that 88,000 people were successfully evacuated, with no reported fatalities or injuries, but two people were killed in a vehicular collision during the evacuation. Despite the mandatory evacuation order, staff at the water treatment plant remained in Fort McMurray in order to provide firefighters with water.

On May 4, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo reported the communities of Beacon Hill, Abasand and Waterways had suffered “serious loss”. The Government of Alberta declared a provincial state of emergency, and said 1,600 buildings had been destroyed by the fires. It was estimated that 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of land had been burned. Evacuees who travelled north of Fort McMurray were advised to stay where they were, and not to come south on Highway 63 as the fire was still burning out of control. A boil-water advisory was issued for the entire area just after 11 a.m. (17:00 UTC).  At 4:05 p.m. (22:05 UTC) the fire crossed Highway 63 at Highway 69, south of the city, and threatened the international airport, which had suspended commercial operations earlier in the day. The fire also forced the re-location of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre, which was originally in the vicinity of the airport. On May 4, the fire was found to be producing lightning and pyrocumulus clouds due to its heat and large size, which added to the risk of more fires. The fires became large enough to create a firestorm, creating its own weather in the form of wind influxes and lightning.

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Satellite imagery of the burn scar left by the wildfire on May 4, 2016

The fire continued to spread south on May 5 across 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) and forcing additional evacuations in the communities of Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and the Fort McMurray First Nation. These communities had accepted over 8,000 people during the initial evacuations. The Government of Alberta announced a plan to airlift approximately 8,000 of 25,000 people who had evacuated to oil sands work camps north of Fort McMurray, with assistance from a Royal Canadian Air Force Hercules aircraft, and other planes owned by energy companies operating in the oil sands. Government officials would also examine the potential for evacuations via Highway 63 during a flyover. 1,100 personnel, 45 helicopters, 138 pieces of heavy equipment and 22 air tankers were being employed to fight the fire.

On May 6, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began leading convoys to move 1,500 vehicles from oil sand work camps north of Fort McMurray, south along Highway 63 to Edmonton. The fire continued to grow out of control, spreading to 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) by May 6, and 156,000 hectares (390,000 acres) by May 7. As the fire grew to the northeast, the community of Fort McKay, which hosted 5,000 evacuees from Fort McMurray, was itself put under an evacuation notice. The fire was anticipated to double in size, and reach the Saskatchewan border to the east.

The wildfire continued to spread through remote forested areas in the following week, reaching oilsand work camps south of Fort MacKay, forcing the evacuation of 19 oil sites and camps with approximately 8,000 workers. One lodge with 665 units was destroyed. The fire continued to grow, from 285,000 hectares (700,000 acres) on May 16 to 504,443 hectares (1,246,510 acres) on May 21 and even spread across 741 hectares (1,830 acres) in Saskatchewan. While the fire moved away from Fort McMurray, two explosions and poor air quality continued to prevent residents and rebuilding crews from returning to the town. By May 18, the fire had grown to 423,000 hectares (1,050,000 acres) and expanded into Saskatchewan. By mid-June, rain and cooler temperatures helped firefighters contain the fire, and on July 4, 2016, the fire was declared under control. The wildfire is expected to take months to fully extinguish.




Edmonton, Alberta, Canada F4 Tornado 7-31-1987

Edmonton tornado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Edmonton tornado of 1987
Formed 31 July 1987
Duration 3:35 4:25 p.m. MDT (2125-2224 UTC)
Max rating1 F4 tornado
Highest winds
Largest hail Tennis ball
Maximum rainfall 300 millimetres (12 in)
Damage $332.27 million
($615 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Power outages Yes
Casualties 27 fatalities
Areas affected Edmonton, Strathcona County, Sherwood Park, Leduc County
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale


The Edmonton tornado of 1987, an event also known as Black Friday to Edmontonians, was a powerful and devastating tornado that ripped through the eastern part of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and parts of neighbouring Strathcona County on the afternoon of Friday, July 31, 1987.

The tornado remained on the ground for an hour, cutting a swath of destruction 40 kilometres (25 mi) long and up to a 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) wide in places, and peaking at F4 on the Fujita scale. The tornado killed 27 people, injured more than 300 people, destroyed more than 300 homes, and caused more than CAD332.27 million in property damage at four major disaster sites. The loss of life, injuries and destruction of property made it the worst natural disaster in Alberta’s recent history and one of the worst in Canada’s history.

Weather forecasts issued during the morning and early afternoon of July 31, 1987 for Edmonton revealed a recognition by Environment Canada of a high potential for unusually severe thunderstorms that afternoon. Environment Canada responded swiftly upon receipt of the first report of a tornado touchdown from a resident of Leduc County which is immediately adjacent to Edmonton’s southern boundary.



In the week preceding July 31, a low pressure system sitting over southwestern British Columbia fed warm, humid air into central Alberta. Daytime heating along with near-record dewpoints over Alberta triggered a series of strong thunderstorms that persisted throughout the week. On July 31, a cold front developed over western Alberta, colliding with the warm moist air that persisted over the region. Forecasters recognized the elevated risk for severe weather early in the day. Weatheradio broadcasts and interviews with the media stressed “vicious thunderstorms” and “extremely strong and violent thunderstorms”.

Severe thunderstorms developed rapidly over the foothills early in the day and quickly moved eastward. The first severe weather watches were issued over central Alberta late in the morning and continued early in the afternoon. At 1:40 PM, a severe weather watch was issued for the Edmonton area, including Leduc County, Parkland County, and Strathcona County. The watch was later upgraded to a warning at 2:45 PM as the line of storms approached the area. As the cluster of storms approached the Leduc area, a violent cell rapidly developed ahead of the main line of storms and sharply turned northward.

The storm passed east of Leduc, where the first tornado report made by a weather spotter at 2:59 PM. The tornado was on the ground briefly before dissipating. Shortly after 3 PM, the tornado again touched down in the Beaumont area, tossing granaries and farm equipment as it grew in size and strength.

At 3:04 PM, a tornado warning was issued for the city. The tornado moved into the southeast portion of the city as a multiple-vortex tornado, and tracked north along the eastern portions of Mill Woods, causing F2 to F3 damage. The tornado continued northward crossing the Sherwood Park Freeway and eventually hitting the Refinery Row area at F4 intensity. The tornado tossed several large oil tanks, leveled several industrial buildings, and several trailers were picked up and scattered at Laidlaw and Byers Transport.[8] Grass scouring and windrowing of debris occurred, and damage in that area may have been borderline F5, but was never officially ranked as such.

The tornado weakened slightly as it passed over an open area between Baseline Road and the North Saskatchewan River. Still, it maintained F2 to F3 intensity as it tore through eastern parts of Clareview toward 4:00 PM, causing heavy damage to several homes in Kernohan, Bannerman and Fraser neighbourhoods. The tornado persisted as it headed northeast toward the Evergreen Mobile Home Park. There, the tornado completely destroyed nearly 200 mobile homes in the area and killed 12 people and injured numerous others.






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