The Fire-Devastation and Hope

August 30 2008 Jasper 042What is referred to as the Fort MacMurray fire still burns in Alberta, as well as has grown into our neighbouring province of Saskatchewan. How do you comprehend the size of 500,000 hectares? The same size as the whole province of Prince Edward Island. Or Metropolitan Toronto.And still growing! Luckily, hopefully it is raining.

I was curious what effect this huge fire has on wildlife. I heard stories of not just a few, but lots of bears walking past people and ignoring them as they too evacuated their habitat.Tens of thousands of animals will be consumed along with the boreal forest.

The larger raptors may have gotten away but not all. Thousands of migrating songbirds would have died from flames or smoke. Now that the fire has extinguished in the city, a lot of bear are attracted by the rotting food left behind by fleeing people.Many will be shot.

I am happy that no human life was lost. I am saddened by the devastation to many species of wildlife and boreal forest.Huge segments of human, and animal habitat have been destroyed.It will take years to recover but I am always amazed how quickly regrowth starts to occur.Although it will be rough going, people will be determined to rebuild the neighbourhoods and are getting ready to return.Picture 132.jpg.Animals will return to land left untouched by the fire.Such is the cycle of life



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