Case Study - Alberta Wildfires Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Case Study - Alberta Wildfires Deck (16)
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1

when did the Alberta Wildfire occur?

May 2016

2

Where is Alberta?

Alberta is a province in Western Canada

3

what was the death toll?

not a single person died as a result of the wildfire

4

what caused the wildfire?

Conditions were extremely favorable to fire;

- A lack of winter snowfall, an early snowmelt in Spring combined with above average spring temperatures DRIED OUT THE GROUND.

Furthermore,
in Late April;

- temperatures soared, very low humidity


- El Nino effect may have caused unusually warm and dry spring conditions.

5

what caused the wildfire?

Conditions were extremely favorable to fire;

- A lack of winter snowfall, an early snowmelt in Spring combined with above average spring temperatures DRIED OUT THE GROUND.

Furthermore,
in Late April;

- temperatures soared, very low humidity


- El Nino effect may have caused unusually warm and dry spring conditions.

6

what was the nearest settlement?

Fort Mcmurray

7

How did the wind inhibit efforts to control the blaze?

a shift in wind direction pushed the fire towards Fort Mcmurray.

8

explain the positive feedback which took place?

the intensity of the fire created its own weather patterns
- this included lightning
- this lightning led to additional fires breaking out.

9

what were the social impacts?

2400 homes and businesses destroyed
- no deaths
- movement in area was restricted and people couldn't work as normal.
- water supplies became contaminated because untreated water was deliberately introduced into the municipal water supply to aid firefighters.

10

what were the economic impacts?

approx $9 billion of damaged to Fort McMurray - Canada's costliest natural disaster.
- The mining and oil industry in the area was temporarily shut down and infrastructure was damaged.
- air travel at the nearest international airport was disrupted.

11

what were the political impacts?

the fire has prompted political debate on the possible impacts on climate change in terms of lengthening the wildfire season by through earlier spring melting. Has helped shaped Canada's approach to climate change.

12

what were the environmental impacts?

the fire burned land equivalent to the size of Norfolk.
- the fire released several millions of tonnes of co2 into the atmosphere
- scorched soil and burnt tree roots severely affected the ecosystem.
- ash was washed into water courses, leading to water pollution and possible contamination of aquatic life.

13

what was the local response?

90,000 people were evacuated from Fort McMurray.

- Firefighters were able to save 85% of the city

14

National Response

The Alberta government has put in place extensive training regimes and evacuation plans.

- The Alberta Government declared a state of emergency and requested help from Canadian Armed Forces.

- The Canadian government provided welfare payments to those affected and made efforts to find temporary accommodation.

15

what was the international response?

Neighboring countries and those with wildfire experience offered aid;

Usa
Russia
Australia

16

what was the mitigation going forward?

- Wildfire mitigation strategy looks at most vulnerable areas and assesses land use in those areas.