The displacement of thousands of people due to wildfires in Fort McMurray is a reminder of how things can change so quickly. One minute we are busy at work, playing in our garden, dining at a favourite restaurant or cuddled up in our cozy bed and the next moment we are escaping from a threat with only the clothes on our backs.
It is truly heartbreaking to think about the toll this has taken on those people. My mind also wanders to the forests and animals that will not be spared. Wildfires happen every year but none as devastating as this.
The fiery embers rain down and through the smoke we witness emergency response teams doing their jobs, without knowledge of their own families safety, without sleep and guaranteed protection. How this fire began is yet to be confirmed but whether it was caused by human or lightening it remains a terrible situation.
Rebuilding Fort McMurray will be years in the making and it is likely that thousands will not be returning to life as they once knew it. That reality can take an emotional toll on individuals and families. Support will be needed for some time to come.
I heard a radio commentator talking about the stupid and cruel remarks made by pundits and others on the internet about this crisis. Some taking the opportunity to blame climate change and others saying Fort McMurray deserves this as pay back for being involved in the oil business. He was incensed and so was I. SHAMEFUL!
If there is one thing you can count on it’s people like that slithering out from dark holes to spew venom before retreating back inside.
There is also no value in the could’ve, should’ve blame that often accompanies these things. Energy must be directed toward pursuits of rebuilding, with communities and individuals rising to the challenge.
To all those former residents of Fort McMurray it is my hope that you know across this country we are keeping you in our thoughts. (At least those of us that have an ounce of compassion, sense and civility left in us) We hope that donations and goodwill help you rebuild a new life that eventually lessens the pain of today. Our hearts go out to you.
Wildfire Information Alberta and British Columbia