Publication Date May 15, 2016

Canada wildfire: why a sleeping giant awoke in Alberta and became relentless

 The neighbourhood of Abasand has been ravaged by the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Photo: Reuters

A 2011 fire in northern Alberta grew to more than 700,000 hectares (1.7m acres). Another, in 1951, burned some 1.4m hectares (3.5m acres), becoming one of the largest recorded fires ever seen in North America. But these fires burned in remote areas of the province, Morrison said. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen a community of this size and scale be impacted by a wildfire of this size and ferocity”