The Fire Next Time: Slave Lake Disaster a Harbinger of Things To Come

"EDMONTON -- On the one year anniversary of the Slave Lake fire, here is a troubling thought. There is a good chance — an ever-increasing chance, as a matter of fact — that it will happen again. Perhaps not to Slave Lake, Alta., but to another community, or communities, nestled in the national tinderbox that is the great boreal forest stretching from British Columbia to Labrador."

"A disaster is waiting to happen because we love to build our homes straddling the forest and because over the years we have been so good at suppressing wildfires that those forests have been accumulating an arsenal of dead-wood fuel just waiting to explode — and because of human-induced climate change that is bringing warmer, drier and windier weather. If the boreal forest is the kindling, climate change is the oxygen. All you need is something or someone to supply a spark. And we can always count on Mother Nature, careless campers or arsonists to oblige."

Graham Thomson reports for Postmedia News May 14, 2012.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012