[Environment] DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: Surveying Fire-Ravaged Fort McMurray, Justin Trudeau Praises Responders

 

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DISASTERS: FIRE :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: CANADA :

TOURISM AND TRAVEL: Surveying

Fire-Ravaged Fort McMurray, Justin Trudeau Praises Responders

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Fire-Ravaged Fort McMurray, Justin Trudeau Praises Responders

By IAN AUSTEN

MAY 13, 2016

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/world/americas/surveying-fire-
ravaged-fort-mcmurray-justin-trudeau-praises-responders.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/joz2ybo

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OTTAWA  After taking a helicopter tour of fire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta, on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau credited firefighters for saving much of the city.

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An official count found that 2,432 buildings were destroyed and 500 were damaged. About 25,000 buildings are still standing but may have smoke damage.

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I dont think Canadians yet understand what happened here, Mr. Trudeau told firefighters and rescue workers after touring the city. They know there was a fire. Theyre beginning to hear the wonderful news that so much of the town was safe. They dont yet understand that this wasnt a fluke of wind or rain or luck, that this was the extraordinary response by people such as yourselves  the work you did to save so much of this community.

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It was Mr. Trudeaus first visit to Fort McMurray since 88,000 people were forced to evacuate the area on May 3 when a wildfire, which continues to burn, swept into the city, which is the hub of Canadas oil sands region.

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Accompanied by Rachel Notley, Albertas premier, Darby Allen, the regional fire chief, and others, Mr. Trudeau viewed from a military helicopter the wide blackened trail left around and through the city by the wildfire. Later, while walking through one of the residential neighborhoods leveled by the fire, he paused and picked up a Mason jar from rubble near the ruins of one house. The heat of the fire had melted it into a surrealistic shape.

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snip

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Because firefighting is primarily a provincial and municipal responsibility in Canada, the federal governments role in dealing with the disaster has been comparatively limited so far. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is Fort McMurrays law enforcement service, under a contract with Alberta. The military has provided logistical support, including helicopters and a heavy-lift airplane.

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A special emergency response team from the Canadian Forces is helping the provinces health ministry open a temporary medical center. While firefighters were able to divert the blaze away from the citys hospital, it has extensive smoke damage and problems with its heating and air-conditioning.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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