[Environment] DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: Inside the Fort McMurray Scorch Zone, Signs of Hasty Retreat and Natures Cruelty

 

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DISASTERS: FIRE :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: CANADA :

TOURISM AND TRAVEL:

Inside the Fort McMurray Scorch Zone,
Signs of Hasty Retreat and Natures Cruelty

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Inside the Fort McMurray Scorch Zone,
Signs of Hasty Retreat and Natures Cruelty

By TYLER HICKS

May 6, 2016

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/07/world/americas/inside- the-fort-mcmurray-fire-zone-a-haunting-journey.html?_r=
0&module=Endslate&region=SlideShowTopBar&version=
EndSlate&action=Click&contentCollection=
Americas&slideshowTitle=Inside%20the%20Scorch%
20Zone&currentSlide=Endslate&entrySlide=1&pgtype=imageslideshow

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jd4mpll

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FORT McMURRAY, Alberta  The houses had literally melted. Hundreds of them. Two-story, plastic-sided homes were down to concrete slabs with stairs leading nowhere. Some iron railings survived, but even they sagged, a stark reminder of just how hot this fire had burned.

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There were no people for blocks as I cruised through the destroyed Beacon Hill neighborhood on Friday morning. The citys 88,000 residents had been evacuated three days earlier as the walls of flame closed in. An area the size of several football fields looked like a post-apocalyptic movie set.

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Even the usual signs of interrupted life were scarce: Furniture and appliances had burned up, with the hard metal pieces of barbecue grills, some particularly sturdy lawn furniture and the skeletons of curbside mailboxes remaining.

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snip

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It was clear that the fire had whipped through very quickly, and somewhat erratically. People did not have time to take valuables, and there were clear signs of what I would classify as panicked retreat.

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snip

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Ive covered the aftermath of natural disasters like the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and the earthquake in Pakistan the following year. Those were acts of nature that ended quickly. This is different, because its a continuing threat. The fire is still burning out of control, and no one really knows the direction it will take next.

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No one knows, either, when Fort McMurray residents will be allowed into the city to check on their homes, never mind move back.

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Because this fire is so big, and not being fought at this point in a way that one could photograph, I am focused more on its aftermath and how it affected the population.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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jwne@temple.edu
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