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article imageDry conditions in Alberta created a 'perfect storm' for a fire

By Karen Graham     May 6, 2016 in World
A perfect storm of conditions created a monster fire from Hades, forcing over 80,000 people to flee for their lives in Alberta, Canada.
Night-time infrared views of the Ft. McMurray wildfire in northern Alberta sent back to Earth by NASA-NOAA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (S-NPP) have a disturbing clarity.
This night-time infrared view of the Fort McMurray Wildfire in Alberta Canada was captured by the VI...
This night-time infrared view of the Fort McMurray Wildfire in Alberta Canada was captured by the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite on May 5, 2016 at 0956 UTC (5:56 a.m. EDT).
NASA/NOAA - William Straka III
The monstrous blaze has been described as "catastrophic," a "multi-headed monster" and a "dirty, nasty" fire by various officials, and without a doubt, it is the extreme of what mother nature is capable of handing us. With the abundance of dry fuel on the forest floor and in the canopy and the dry heat, all that was needed was the spark to get things started.
"You hate to use the cliché, but it really was kind of a perfect storm," says Mike Wotton, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service and a professor at the University of Toronto, reported CBC Canada.
The fire, burning at between 800 to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,472 to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit) was first spotted on May 1 when it was only 500 hectares (1,235 acres) in size. As of today, It has now grown to about 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles) in size, with flames reaching 100 meters (328 feet) in height, a real monster.
As of Thursday, the track of the fire had split in two, forcing about 10,000 residents to flee north and 70,000 to head south, causing massive traffic jams. The heavy smoke, thick with ash that rains down on the slowly moving vehicles is scary enough, but the blood-red skies, made so because smoke particles in the air filter out colors other than red, pink and orange, create an image out of Dante's Inferno.
Flames engulf trees along a highway near Fort McMurray  Alberta on May 6  2016
Flames engulf trees along a highway near Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 6, 2016
Cole Burston, AFP
Convoys of evacuees make the trek south
On Friday, the convoys began. Over 1,500 vehicles, broken into groups of 50 were moved through the fire zone escorted by police and a National Defence helicopter acting as a fire spotter. The convoys were halted temporarily this afternoon when heavy smoke and huge flames near the road made the route impassable, reports Reuters.
As far as the city of Ft. McMurray, the hospital, telephone center, municipal center and airport are all intact. The water treatment plant is now up and running again. CTV News Canada is reporting that the province is providing emergency funds for those affected and will give $1,250 per adult and $500 for each dependent to help them in the interim.
“As we did after the Slave Lake fire and the southern Alberta flood, cabinet today, authorized the government to provide emergency financial assistance to people who have been displaced,” said Premier Notley.
The Red Cross has set up a call line for the public, for inquiries and to register call 1-888-350-6070.
To make a donation, call 1-800-418-1111 or visit the website HERE.
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