This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ferociously Unstoppable Alberta Wildfire

"The government of Alberta has been discussing a re-entry plan with the Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Obviously, yesterday's events have caused us to take a second look at those plans [to allow early return of residents to Fort McMurray after the evacuation in the face of a gigantic wildfire]."
"It's still a bit of a moving target, but those numbers are in the range of things that we've seen. The actual numbers? It's too early to tell."
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley
CTV -- Alberta wildfire crossing into Saskatchewan, May 19, 2016

Already the wildfire of such gigantic, unstoppable proportions that led to the evacuation of almost 90,000 residents of Fort McMurray in the space of hours when a wildfire unexpectedly veered directly toward the suburbs of the city, has knocked 1.2 million barrels of oil production off-line for a two-week period, representing $985 million in real gross domestic product, lost. This, in a province struggling with a deficit and a stumbling economy after years of robust oil wealth.

The fire has caused regional shutdowns, placing millions of barrels of oil off-line, with energy corporations forfeiting $70 million daily in lost revenues. Production had been set to get underway until a renewed threat of the fire spread forced a delay, affecting Suncor, Syncrude and Husky Energy Inc., all forced to shut down, and all recently lending their facilities, expertise and professionals in the bid to protect Fort McMurray and to host evacuees.

Executives from those oilsands companies had met last week with Premier Notley to discuss timelines for facilities to re-start. But the volatility of the situation has further hampered the expectation that work could re-start, and residents of Fort McMurray could begin to contemplate returning at the first word from the government of assured safety to do so. The fire's rapid growth and its sheer volatility has made predictions for both of these, impossible.

"We do have plans in place to move people out of the area [if the situation worsens]", said Cameron Yost, Shell Canada spokesman of his facilities located further north from the fire which had ramped up production but operating at reduced rates in preparation for evacuation should the fire approach, or if air quality deteriorates further.

The fire this week reached in its eastward move, into and across the border with Saskatchewan. The hot, dry conditions and winds ensured that 8,000 workers were evacuated from camps between Fort McMurray and Fort McKay early in the week. One of the camps was destroyed by the fire. "My expectation is there is very little there to be salvaged", Horizon North president Rod Graham said, though the company already has plans to rebuild the camp.

Fort McMurray wildfire
The wildfire in Fort McMurray continues to grow, Thursday, May 19, 2016. (Bill Fortier / CTV News)

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet