Satellite Images Show Wide View Of Canadian Bushfire Disaster
Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
Satellite Images Show Wide View Of Canadian Bushfire Disaster
Fires At Night
UWM/SSEC/CIMSS, William Straka III

Last year record-setting "wildfires" (it's what they call bushfires, poor dears) raged across North America, and this year firefighters across the continent are bracing for another bad season.

There have been horrifying scenes this week out of Western Canada, with an entire community —over 80,000 people— ordered to evacuate from their homes in and around Fort McMurray, Alberta, the epicenter of the country's once-thriving oil sands production industry.

Images taken from NASA satellites show the massive extent of the devastating blaze as firefighters work to contain it.

If you're wondering how large that is, MacLean's puts it in perspective, comparing the size of the blaze to other cities around the world. If you compare it to New York City, it would be as though most of Manhattan and Queens were burning, along with a significant chunk of Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, the news this summer might get worse before it gets better. With climate change continuing to raise temperatures around the world, wildfire season now extends for almost a full year, straining firefighting budgets.

Australia is moving into the "off season" for bushfires right now... except that as recent history shows us, the timing of the "off season" is becoming less and less predictable. Point is, our turn will come around again soon enough. It always does.

If you're looking for ways to help those affected by the Alberta wildfires, the Canadian Red Cross is collecting donations here, which the Canadian government has pledged to match in full.

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