Bitumont Complex - that is the new name being given to the monster forest fire that has been blazing away the past month to the north of us. A few other smaller fires have now joined in to what was originally being called the McClelland Lake Fire and then the Richardson Backcountry Fire to create a 570,000+ hectare inferno. I was helping load a flatbed yesterday at work and I'm sure I could see it glowing along the horizon because if that odd orangey glow wasn't the fire I have great difficulty imagining what else it would be. Rain is forecast for later this week which hopefully will aide firefighting efforts a little bit. This will be the first substantial rainfall we've had this summer and it is greatly welcomed of course, particularly as the fire had been creating so much heat due to its sheer size that rain clouds have had trouble even forming in the sky above.
Fire fighting efforts include not only the giant Martin Mars but have also gone international with the addition of 40 firefighter from Mexico to support the over 700Canadian firefighters from as far away as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Fortunately for us here, there has been very little fire growth to the south toward Fort McMurray. Drifting smoke continues to be an issue depending on wind direction. All safe and sound here for the time being and we'll see what kind of relief this coming rain provides us.