While I mentioned in my last post about looking forward to be able to return to my regular life in Fort McMurray, it looks like I, along with 88,000 other people, will have to wait a little bit longer as the situation has markedly deteriorated over the past 24 hours. The camp I had hoped to be working out of by week's end is now under threat from "The Beast". A nearby camp, Blacksands Lodge, fell victim to the fire this morning. The fire has closed more sections of Highway 63, the flames are encroaching on more oil sands facilities and a saw mill I pass by on my way to and from work is under threat.
And so I watch and wait to see what will come. Other than knowing a few people in the area and being familiar with the lay of the land up there, I really don't have access to any more information at this point. I did have a moment of alarm this morning when I learned of a couple of explosions due to gas lines in a residential area on the west side of town,in Dickinsfield and Thickwood. Both areas are about 2km from my street though I do pass by the one area in Thickwood on a more or less daily basis. It was a relief to know that my chateau is still hanging in there and my heart goes out to those who now have no home to return to.
I don't really have too much else to say at this point. I've been doing my best to keep to somewhat of a regular routine and blogging plays a role in that. A couple months ago I had planned out a short trip to Banff so I am hopeful that I will still be able to salvage that. Going bird watching without my guide and binoculars will feel a bit strange as I almost always have them with me. Surely, it might pose a bit of a challenge but then it isn't like I haven't had a few unexpected challenges to deal with over the course of the last two weeks.