Fire season is upon us.
It’s the end of May, and a huge wildfire, some 10,000 hectares in size, is out of control and threatening the town of High Level in northwestern Alberta. Townsfolk were evacuated several days ago. It is only one of many fires burning across the country. Drought is making a bad situation worse.
Fire has been both a tool and a danger. Indigenous people fired the prairie to green up the grass that, in turn, brought the bison back in their numbers. Europeans traveling across the plains described fires stretching from one horizon to the other, creating a scene worthy of Dante’s Inferno, leaving behind miles of scorched, blackened earth that they crossed for days afterward. Continue reading “FIRE!”