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I agree 100% but there is only one answer. Cost. They are always afraid of spending money even though it will cost way more in the end. This is fort mac were talking about, if they acted as if money was not an issue, they could have had 100 cats there with operators in a matter of a day or two. How long would it take to clear an area around the city with that many cats? Or at least on the side of the city with the fire. It's always easier to justify reactive spending instead of proactive. You always get some Douche from the budget saying " just hold off on writing that check for more bombers, maybe it'll rain in the next day or two".
 

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It will be interesting to hear the reports on why this was done or why not that as time goes on. I honestly wonder what kind of environmental audit has to be passed to plow down a fire gaurd in the face of an advancing fire. My guess is there would be many people up in arms about a bunch of cats pushing down everything in sight to create a firebreak without an environmental impact study done first. Such is the world tgese days that i have to wonder if this came up.

I was at a K+P potash mine orientation last month and it went on for a minute or two how areas with cat tails growing could not be touched on the site because a particular frog is known to inhabit, meanwhile on the farm i am plowing through any cat tail area i can find.

I was shaking my head regarding the fire response on the news and the FOUR, yes, all of four helicopters dispatched to help and splashed on the news and Ontarios Wynne with a press conference announcing 100 fire fighters. From what i saw of the fire videos i may as well been there to piss on it and get my face in the news for my contribution too. Not to sound pessimistic but i honestly thought Canada could muster a better response to a fire when you are fighting with aircraft that are meant to travel vast distances on short notice. Would not surprise me Russia offered help faster than our own country can respond. Trudeau would have had to thank Puttin if Russias response was more effective than Canadas.

And just because houses are there wont mean the power system, sewer, water, gas and other such things we consider basic necessities are going to be operational now or anytime soon. A roof over your head without any services to your house is not what it was 100 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
Well things still out of control up there, while they did lose some of Anzac they were able to save most of it. Some industrial area just south of McMurray is on fire right now.

Was a couple of comments during two interviews on local CTV out of Edmonton that sort of stood out...

first this morning on Morning Live, they interviewed some office flunky already evacuated to Edmonton, for the RM of Wood Buffalo who openly stated, much to the regret of some a lot higher on the chain of command I'm sure, that the RM and those involved realized they had seriously underestimated the severity of the approaching fire and that their initial response was now massively lacking and there was no time or chance to do anything further...well duhhhh, think most of us had already figured that out on our own. Interestly, that part of the interview was not included during repeat coverage on the noon broadcast, how much you wanna bet that was intentional? And I'm sure he won't be flapping his lips again anytime soon either. Now the damage control for the politicians and the rest begins....

Secondly, I forget the company, but they had some one from the insurance industry speaking on noon news, he said that collectively, the industry is estimating a 9 billion dollar cost to them. And in the very next breath and sentence made it clear this cost will be passed on to the household and property owners of Alberta in increased premiums, as the fire in Slave Lake and now McMurray, well its obvious Alberta is a high risk of wildfires and the rates will be now adjusted accordingly. Well of course, ever hear of an insurance company losing money? So now due to more incompetence, we as a province will all pay for the loss.

On another note, can't help but wonder how long it will be before the RCMP are back in Mac kicking in doors again like they did in High River, the last time and place we had a mass evacuation. Wonder what the excuses will be this time?
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Firebreak around Fort McMurray wouldn't have saved city, official says - Edmonton - CBC News

So lets see here.
The fire jumped a one kilometer wide, zero fire materials gap.
And all the experts here say all you needed was a fire guard.
So one of the very people whom it appears dropped the ball and underestimated what they were dealing with makes a statement in an attempt to defend his own actions and you take that to be the gospel truth and undisputable? Of course he is going to try to defend their actions, its his job that he is being paid to do and he will be acting on what his bosses told him to say. Thats like take your pick of any mass murderer claiming his innocence, does that make him now not guilty in your eyes? Not being mean spirited or anything, but jeez sometimes Don you really make me shake my head.

I've unfortunately been involved in the fight of two large wildfires where there was much loss of property, and perhaps it because of such that I have a bit of an understanding of how those fires can act and what they can do. This is why you don't piss around. Almost a kilometer is not a large enough break to stop such a fire, any kid who has watched one can tell you that.
 

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Obviously conditions is Aussie are vastly different to those in Canada, but very similar circumstances occur every summer down here. When the urban interface is hard up against timber, houses are going to be lost.
Fire guards as you call them work well with a normal fire - we use hazard reduction burning to the same effect.

But when the wind is really going, fires jump 10km ahead and most houses are lost due to ember attack not radiant heat
 

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So how long would it take to clear a square mile of forest ? And how many sections would have to be cleared around a city the size of Fort McMurray to possibly help? How wide was that river that it jumped ?
 

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Fuel load on those forests eventually gets to a point where even in a relatively wet year they can and will burn. I graze forestry lands in the summer and there has been no fire there for 50 years because the cows keep the fuel load down. However up in Fort Mac that isn't an option coupled with skegs that can burn out its a poop storm. Even if you get the trees out those skegs can burn for years. Though a decent enough fire guard could have slowed it down. Sure it can jump but if you got a decent barrier keeps the heat back and when those embers do rain the chance of them igniting is a lot less. Big fires create wind. More fuel equals more wind more suction. Light a quarter section of brush piles and you'll know what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
So how long would it take to clear a square mile of forest ? And how many sections would have to be cleared around a city the size of Fort McMurray to possibly help? How wide was that river that it jumped ?
It doesn't actually have to be cleared and piled, just walking it down helps with control in a huge way. By pushing the trees over, you eliminate the crown fire which is the one that creates the high flames and temperatures and the excessive discharge of embers. What also happens as well, is you now have a much cooler fire, simply because less oxygen is available at the source of the fuel. If you have ever been close to a crown fire, you will see and hear as such as a spruce tree will explode into flame, engulfing the entire tree almost instantly, this is due the massive amount of oxygen available when the fire hits that tree and the extreme temperatures that prelude a crown fire. If the tree is flat on the ground you don't get this explosive ignition effect and the fire burns cooler and travels slower. Now you have a chance to stop or steer it. Certainly winds still play a part, but not to the dramatic effect they have with a crown fire.

As for equipment needed, was talking to a couple people in oil industry up there today, word is they could have had well in excess of 100 large Cats, big bastards like 9s and 11s and more at their disposal. Stuff that can walk trees down fast. When you have large construction companies based out of the area like North American, Ledcor, Thompson Bros, just to name but a few, never mind pipeline and other industries, the amount of equipment they could have had was staggering. But instead we now have burned out areas of a bloody city of all things and a government in denial.

There was a map online I can not find anymore, that showed where Forestry cut a narrow cutline some distance from town around the eastern and northern fronts of the then approaching fire. Possibly it has been taken offline. Anyone who has ever been around one of these fires knows how ineffective such a break really is. They need to be wide which means you need to be far enough ahead of the fire to complete it before you get caught. If they had intended to use the river as a firebreak, which in this case, had it actually been effective, it only would have stopped part of the fire from entering town, not all of it, the combination of the two might have done it. Also as we have all seen, there was thick standing timber right to streets and houses where the fire raged. Those trees should have all been walked down as well. As others have said, yes, the environmental freaks would have went nuts had this all been done, but if it had, there is a good chance very little in town would have been lost.

All of you insinuating that this fire was unstoppable, curious what your wildfire experience is? For those who have never been around one, trust me, it is one SOB to be around and contend with and can instantly become deadly. But when approached with respect and the right strategy, they can be controlled with effort and time, but you will have created some collateral damage in the process. It is the lesser of two evils. Some people fail to comprehend this.

I had said I had been part of the effort on two earlier, what are called the Amisk Lake and Ferguson fires, and then got thinking afterwards, that is actually three. There were all timber crown fires at one or more points. The last one was the same night Slave Lake burnt, was just a few miles from me and burnt out a huge area around Ellscott. Not saying I have extensive experience, but I've seen what works and don't, and that things can be slowed down when the proper approach is used. And no I wasn't just a spectator, I was actually involved in getting it under control.
 

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You've been challenged!

By pure coincidence I received a hard mail funding request a few days ago from The Canadian Red Cross.
My donation will be matched by some mystery funding source 2 to 1 or as they like to market, triple total, until June 16.
Good to see marketing isn't lost even on charitable organizations.
Threw it in the hard mail aging pile.

Then Fires hit Alberta. Then the feds announce government matching for the month of May, no cap, 1 to 1.
Hmm. How do these two programs work together?
Additive? Multiply? One or the other?

If I was running the Canadian Red Cross this would be well spelt out on the website. It ain't. At all.

Anyway, no time for dilly dally, I challenge forum members to donate to The Canadian Red Cross or the charity of your choice that you think best fits the current situation in Alberta.
100$'s from your cold, red, hands.:)
 

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Ft Mac is on fire. Immigration department is in shambles. Economy is on life support. And the federal government is debating how make O Canada gender neutral. Pretty soon you will have to be a eunuch to sit in house of commons. If the want to do something useful why don't put an ankle bracelet on Duffy so they can validate his whereabouts
 

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I see it like AB and Snapper, a strip of trees a hundred yards wide at the edge of town flattened in the face of the advancing fire would have reduced the intensity of the fire as it reached the buildings. Absolutely embers would be falling a kilometer away but people can deal with them, a raging inferno 50 yards from buildings hitting 100s of degrees C at the building and you have no chance. It will be interesting to hear the stories as to why there were not a bunch a cats dropped off on those border streets pushing down the standing trees. It would have hindered evacuation for sure so that is one reason, probably too late by that time too. But ultimately my guess is no one is capable of making critical decisions anymore, people would rather not make a decision and say it was going to happen rather than take a radical action and be accused of over reacting after the fact.
 

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Just a thought here , how deep is the river there ?? Deep enough to deploy boats ?? Here's my thought , you have a river RIGHT THERE , with WATER which you need to fight a fire , its 2016 , cannot someone build a boat with a helluva pump on it to shoot water X # of feet , soak each side of the river to try and stop or slow down the advancing flames ?? Like I said its 2016 , surely some engineer sitting somewhere could figure this out !! Unless the river is too shallow to allow this to happen !! If that's the case then just ignore my ramble !!:54:
 

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Common sense would have had a series of fire breaks in place before there ever was a fire, and in this case trees needed to be flattened and back burnt use fire to fight fire, has everybody forgot how to back burn? Is the first mine not 25 km away? You could walk the cats that far, and it wouldn't take long to knock enough down and between water bombers and the cats back burning could have been done in my opinion. Next time you burn a slough of cattails do it on a windy day and light one upwind and one down wind and see how the wind speeds the fire up on the upwind side vrs downwind.
 

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With the kinda money in that town you would think they could have a sprinkler system around the whole city like they do up here around all gas plants
 
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