Fort McMurray Evacuated

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Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Diseased88 » Wed May 04, 2016 12:00 am

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/ ... -1.3563977


Twitter tags: #ymm #ymmfire #fortmcmurray

Apparently no one is being reported seriously injured or dead, which is amazing considering the scale.

"It's a disaster," said Bates. "I think it's not fair. They didn't even let us take our things, so we lost everything."

You never know when stuff like this can happen, I wish the best of luck to our friends up north. It's hard to believe that a city doesn't exist anymore.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by modustollens » Wed May 04, 2016 2:00 am

Big fire season seems to be starting earlier each year. I doubt many were prepared for this. A good reason for having a well defined plan and a hunk of cash squared away. Fuel is also key:

"Gas stations were emptied of fuel along the way leaving many motorists stranded on the highway."

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Halfapint » Wed May 04, 2016 2:38 am

Just saw this on my news feed, 50,000 people evacuated??? That's a monster fire! Stay safe you folks in the great white north.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Wed May 04, 2016 3:05 am

Just catching up with this story after spotting it in the news feeds.

CBC live blog is here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/live-bl ... -1.3565398

This struck me as a useful learning point:
https://twitter.com/warnicam/status/727764078790361088
@warnicam wrote:Hwy. 63 southbound is now open north of Confederation. Fuel is not readily available - do not attempt to travel south without enough fuel to make it beyond Grasslands.
By Google, Grasslands is about 160 miles south of Fort McMurray. Here's another reminder to have fuel on hand and not let your tank run too low.

Edit to add:
CBC news bulletin here:
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by raptor » Wed May 04, 2016 10:33 am

Wow ... Fort McMurray Canada is heart of Canada's oil sands. It is an hour by jet north of Calgary and is accessed by either air or a single 2 lane road south.

Evacuating that many people must be a nightmare.
Gas stations were emptied of fuel along the way leaving many motorists stranded on the highway.

Fire officials said they expect Wednesday could be just as bad, with the wind expected to pick up and the hot, dry weather to continue.

Allen called Tuesday "a devastating day," and said fire crews were simply overwhelmed by the speed and power of the wildfire.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by BullOnParade » Wed May 04, 2016 12:03 pm

Alberta premier announcing over 1600 structures destroyed and 80,000 people displaced.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by raptor » Wed May 04, 2016 12:45 pm

More photos here. They are too big to post.

http://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/entire ... da-n567681

Wow is all I can say.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by majorhavoc » Wed May 04, 2016 2:58 pm

88,000 evacuees per CCN.com. The provincial government has placed a mandatory evacuation order over the entire city of Fort McMurray. Whole neighborhoods have been consumed already and basically the entire city is in danger of being burnt to the ground. They're supposed to get a break in the weather up there by tomorrow.

+1 on modustollen's reminder of the importance of having adequate fuel supplies at all times.

This certainly qualifies as a major disaster.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Wed May 04, 2016 3:54 pm

From the CBC liveblog, time-stamped about 10 minutes ago:
The emergency operations centre has moved (due to spreading wildfire) from its base near the Fort McMurray International Airport further south to the Nexen's Long Lake Facility, near Anzac.

That is about 30 minutes outside of town.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Stercutus » Wed May 04, 2016 6:34 pm

This looks crazy bad for those living in Ft. McMurray. That is a 1/4 of 1% of the population of Canada. To put it in perspective that would be equivalent to nearly a million people in the US.

BBC is reporting that most of the city could be destroyed.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36207807

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Canadian Guy » Wed May 04, 2016 7:32 pm

We have friends in Fort McMurray and they had to evacuate, they are now fearing the worst in that their home may be destroyed. Definitely highlights the importance of having a "Bug out plan", sometimes there is no way you can "Bug-in".

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by raptor » Wed May 04, 2016 7:45 pm

Canadian Guy wrote:We have friends in Fort McMurray and they had to evacuate, they are now fearing the worst in that their home may be destroyed. Definitely highlights the importance of having a "Bug out plan", sometimes there is no way you can "Bug-in".

GFT

There is nothing that says bug out now more than a wildfire or a CAT 5 hurricane heading your way.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Thu May 05, 2016 4:30 am

raptor wrote:
Canadian Guy wrote:We have friends in Fort McMurray and they had to evacuate, they are now fearing the worst in that their home may be destroyed. Definitely highlights the importance of having a "Bug out plan", sometimes there is no way you can "Bug-in".
GFT

There is nothing that says bug out now more than a wildfire or a CAT 5 hurricane heading your way.
I've just watched this CBC news report form the side of the road. Seems like community spirit is remaining strong amongst the evacuees.



Raptor (and others), you've seen a few hurricane evacuations in your time. I guess this is pretty similar?

Edit to add:
Here is a timelapse from yesterday (Wednesday) from a webcam at the Fort McMurray airport.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by wee drop o' bush » Thu May 05, 2016 7:06 am

Crazy scary news reports about it on BBC news :shock:
Watching the news reports I'm surprised that the roads (shown) do not seem to be in total gridlock.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Thu May 05, 2016 7:37 am

This YouTuber has some completely bonkers dashcam footage from his evacuation on the 3rd.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmyRXb ... D4xHpasgzw

He has front and rear cameras, and on the rear cameras you can see the fire cross the road behind him (from woodland to housing) and start burning bushes in gardens.

It makes me wonder (in the abstract) whether lawn sprinklers would help slow the spread in residential areas?
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Thu May 05, 2016 8:09 am

The Fort McMurray airport webcams are still on-line; you can see them here:
http://metcam.navcanada.ca/hb/player.js ... =65&lang=e

Also, the regional government Emergency Ops Center (together with a significant number of staff) has relocated almost 300km south to Lac LA Biche:

https://twitter.com/RMWoodBuffalo/statu ... 3628445699
We're evacuating our REOC and heading to Lac La Biche to reset. I'll provide further updates after arrival #ymmfire
https://twitter.com/RMWoodBuffalo/statu ... 8363845632
Please be patient with updates - just evac'd almost 900 people and drove 2.5 hours, we're doing the best we can #ymmfire
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by BullOnParade » Thu May 05, 2016 9:11 am

sheddi wrote:This YouTuber has some completely bonkers dashcam footage from his evacuation on the 3rd.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmyRXb ... D4xHpasgzw

He has front and rear cameras, and on the rear cameras you can see the fire cross the road behind him (from woodland to housing) and start burning bushes in gardens.

It makes me wonder (in the abstract) whether lawn sprinklers would help slow the spread in residential areas?
I would expect (city) utilities to be stopped at this point. Water included. It's too much of a wild card for firefighters to not know when a city waterline will rupture.

Popular Mechanics or popular science had an issue focused on (realistic) disaster preparedness a few years ago with a (less sensational than doomsday preppers) series of interviews with extreme cases of people prevailing through the worst thanks to their preps. One of the interviews was with a gentleman who purchased his own firefighting equipment and defended his house after the evacuation order had been issued. I'll see if I can find the article sometime, I'm pretty sure I held onto the issue for quite some time.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by raptor » Thu May 05, 2016 10:42 am

sheddi wrote:
Raptor (and others), you've seen a few hurricane evacuations in your time. I guess this is pretty similar?
Yes it is similar but on smaller scale. If you notice they are NOT using contra flow (which would use both sides of the road and make them both head south) that would double the traffic capacity, but in this case since it is the only road in and out it would choke off any northward flow of supplies/people.

The other point is the 5 gallon gas cans you see. If you are going to bug out by car be sure to have at least one full 5 gallon gas can with you. Two or more are better. If you run out gas you are stuck until help with gasoline arrives.

A final note. If you look at the airport you will see a lot of general aviation aircraft (a.k.a. Cessnas & a Piper). In this situation this would be the preferable Bug Out Vehicle. Also if you are ever in a situation like this and cannot find gasoline general aviation planes burn 100 octane low lead gasoline. It will work in a car. The gas does have some lead in it which may cause damage to the emission system but a damaged emission beats the heck out being toasted by a fire.
Last edited by raptor on Thu May 05, 2016 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Thu May 05, 2016 12:03 pm

Here's the latest status from @RMWB:
Image

The REOC is moving back north to Fort McMurray Fire Hall 5, reversing their bug-out to Lac La Biche, so things might be improving:
https://twitter.com/RMWoodBuffalo/statu ... 7862469632
REOC staff are returning north to the Fire Hall 5 location - updates will resume in approx. 2.5 to 3 hours #ymmfire
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 05, 2016 3:45 pm

Strangely the oil market seems to have reacted even though Canadian output production has been reduced by less than 1%.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-globa ... SKCN0XW02M
While the oil sands facilities are mostly to the north of the wildfire in city of Fort McMurray in Alberta that is spreading south, as much as a third of Canada's daily crude capacity has been cut and some major pipelines closed after more evacuations were ordered.

A stranded Glencore oil cargo in Libya, after a stand-off between eastern and western political factions, also fed the rally at first.

Some traders said the market had overreacted to both events.

"The Canadian blaze, horrific as it is, is far south of the real producing fields to cause real lasting damage to production there," said John Kilduff, partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital. "The Libyan barrels weren't really on the market anyway."
The irony of being in the middle of an oil patch and not having fuel to run your vehicle should not be lost on most people.
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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by sheddi » Thu May 05, 2016 3:47 pm

Satellite imagery shows the fire's growth from 10,000 hectares yesterday (bottom photo) to 85,000 today (top photo) [1 ha = 2.5 acres, 260 ha = 1 sq. mile]. The frames don't perfectly line up but you can take your cue from the river bends.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by raptor » Thu May 05, 2016 3:54 pm

Stercutus wrote:
The irony of being in the middle of an oil patch and not having fuel to run your vehicle should not be lost on most people.
Ironic yes.

That said the oil that is extracted in Ft McMurray is more like 120 to 200 weight gear oil than gasoline. It has to be heated to flow through the pipeline to the nearest refinery several hundreds of miles away.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Canadian Guy » Thu May 05, 2016 5:04 pm

Word today that the Daughter of our friends and her Husband lost their home and everything to the fire in Fort McMurray :(
They are safe in Edmonton.

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Re: Fort McMurray Evacuated

Post by Canadian Guy » Thu May 05, 2016 5:10 pm

raptor wrote:
Stercutus wrote:
The irony of being in the middle of an oil patch and not having fuel to run your vehicle should not be lost on most people.
Ironic yes.

That said the oil that is extracted in Ft McMurray is more like 120 to 200 weight gear oil than gasoline. It has to be heated to flow through the pipeline to the nearest refinery several hundreds of miles away.
They extract the oil from the tar sands and send it elsewhere for further refining.

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