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Maclean’s on the Hill: Full coverage of the Fort McMurray fire

Our weekly politics podcast shifts gears and focuses on the disaster in northern Alberta


 

podcast

Each week, the Maclean’s Ottawa bureau sits down with Cormac Mac Sweeney to discuss the headlines of the week. This week, Fort McMurray in flames. Nearly 90,000 people have been forced to evacuate the northern Alberta city as wildfires rip through communities, burning relentlessly.

On this week’s episode, we have complete coverage of this disaster. We start our show hearing some of the terrifying personal stories from residents of Fort McMurray as they fled the flames.

Maclean’s Ottawa Bureau Chief John Geddes breaks down all of the ongoing efforts to battle the fires around Fort McMurray, and help evacuees. He also looks at what comes next.

We then speak with Brian Jean, the leader of Alberta’s opposition Wildrose Party. Jean is Fort McMurray’s MLA, and he lost two homes in the fire. He joins us from the operations centre near the city, and talks about the extensive damage and rebuilding to come.

We wrap up our special coverage with a forestry expert: John Innes, dean of the faculty of forestry at the University of British Columbia. Innes addresses the link between climate change and wildfires, and the need for forest fire-prone municipalities to create buffer zones that could prevent similar disasters.

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The full episode


Part 1. In their own words: Evacuees escape a burning city.

Residents of Fort McMurray get some rest in on cots at the Bold Centre in Lac La Biche, AB after being evacuated from fires that have taken over northern Alberta on Wednesday, May 04, 2016. (Photograph by Chris Bolin)

Residents of Fort McMurray get some rest in on cots at the Bold Centre in Lac La Biche, AB after being evacuated from fires that have taken over northern Alberta on Wednesday, May 04, 2016. (Photograph by Chris Bolin)

Our special coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfires starts with terrifying personal accounts of evacuees who fled the city as flames approached.


Part 2. Canada reacts to disaster in Fort McMurray.

A helicopter battles a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday May 4, 2016. The wildfire has already torched 1,600 structures in the evacuated oil hub of Fort McMurray and is poised to renew its attack in another day of scorching heat and strong winds. (Jason Franson/CP)

A helicopter battles a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday May 4, 2016. The wildfire has already torched 1,600 structures in the evacuated oil hub of Fort McMurray and is poised to renew its attack in another day of scorching heat and strong winds. (Jason Franson/CP)

Maclean’s Ottawa Bureau Chief John Geddes breaks down all of the ongoing efforts to battle the fires around Fort McMurray, and help evacuees. He also looks at what comes next.


Part 3. Fort McMurray’s man in Edmonton lost two homes.

Wildrose leader Brian Jean. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Wildrose leader Brian Jean. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

We speak with Brian Jean, the leader of Alberta’s opposition Wildrose Party. Jean is Fort McMurray’s MLA, and he lost two homes in the fire. He joins us from the operations centre near the city, and talks about the extensive damage and rebuilding to come.


Part 4. Forest fires, climate change, and the importance of prevention

The processing facility at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

The processing facility at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

We speak with a forestry expert—John Innes, dean of the faculty of forestry at the University of British Columbia—about the link between climate change and wildfires, and the need for forest fire-prone municipalities to create buffer zones that could prevent similar disasters.


OUR FORT MCMURRAY FAQ

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Maclean’s on the Hill: Full coverage of the Fort McMurray fire

  1. Russia’s enormous water bombers could have brought this fire under control quickly. Why didn’t we accept their kind offer ?

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