Combine a severe drought in 2015, a mild dry winter, high winds, and a heat wave, and you have the ingredients for a wild fire. In fact, Alberta fire watchers had been on alert since early March. And then it happened. A massive forest and grass fire blew into Fort McMurray, a northern Canadian city.
At first I wondered if it was an oil rig fire, but no it was a ‘natural’ wildfire (though no one knows what or who fueled the first spark). Last Tuesday, May 3, evacuation of almost 90,000 people began.
There have been miracles. So far only two deaths have been reported and roughly 85% of the city was not destroyed. Yet this last statistic is of small consolation to those who lost everything. Wild fires are becoming more common as average world temperatures rise–destroying forests, shrubs, animals and sometimes, human communities. The Fort McMurray story is close to home.
Sparks rain and scatter,
In lightning time, all in flames,
Lives upturned in smoke.
Northern city flees
firebolts, searing hot smoke
cooled by gentle rain.
A change in weather has caused the fire threat in Fort McMurray to reduce considerably, but almost 200,000 hectares of fire is still raging.
My haiku are a second response to Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge #96: ‘lightning’ and ‘rain’. Seeing those sparks raining down in the video told me that the story could be told with the prompt words.
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