The last time I posted a Slave Lake Update was May of 2011. Here it is, one year later and there are still some people without homes to go to in this town. As you may recall, Slave Lake was at the mercy of fires this time last year. Several homes and businesses were burnt to the ground. The damage was unspeakable.
Today, one year later, the town is rebuilding. My husband's cousin is one of the contractors working in the town, rebuilding homes, rebuilding lives. He tells us via word of mouth that there is a good two years of building to repair and replace what was lost May 2011.
|fire near Bonnyville, Alberta|
As of May 15, 2012, there are 52 fires burning in the province of Alberta, some set by man, whether careless or otherwise. The worst hit, that I know of, is the area north of Cold Lake and Bonnyville. Forest fire risk is extreme due to a drier than normal winter and spring, thus the province of Alberta has issued a province wide fire ban. This includes forested areas from Waterton Lakes National Park in south western Alberta to north of Manning going east to north of Fort McMurray.
The fire risk is considered serious with ratings from high to extreme.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment said, “Unfortunately, most of the wildfires we are fighting right now appear to be human-caused and therefore were 100 per cent preventable. It is very important that everyone take precautions to avoid starting fires.”
Currently there are four fires burning out of control in central and northern Alberta, according to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
“It does cover an extensive portion of the province, but most of the province is rated high to extreme and that’s why it’s so encompassing,” said spokeswoman Whitney Exton.
Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/Fire+imposed+across+Alberta+leadup+Victoria+weekend/6620296/story.html#ixzz1vAlAYVAj
Sadly, that means that once again those who are camping in provincial parks this long weekend may have to do so without the joy of a campsite fire. Fireworks are forbidden as well as portable fires. Many municipalities and cities have put in place their own fire bans.
Visit the Government of Alberta Fire Ban Site for information updates.