By now mostly everyone has heard about the Alberta Wildfires that have led to large-scale evacuations and billions of dollars in destruction. What hasn’t really been talked about in the U.S. media are the causes of the fires. While the oil sands themselves usually don’t catch fire, the equipment and chemicals used in obtaining the oil are very flammable. http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/could-the-oil-sands-catch-fire/
It seems that the climate was the “perfect storm” for this fire, and it continues spreading, causing more damage. While the global temperature has been heating up, the result of this increase in temperature is having a devastating effect on the environment. The cost of the Alberta wildfires is social, environmental, monetary, and health related. There is an estimated damage of 9 billion dollars already, and no one knows how much higher that number will go. This fire has released toxins into the air, including such heavy metals as mercury and lead as a result of the oil sands. These toxins will now be in the air, water and soil for a long time to come. The residents of Fort McMurray were breathing these toxins for quite a while before they were evacuated. What will be the health results of this? At the moment no one is quite sure. Once there is rain, these toxins will be washed into the waterways, and again no one is sure of the consequences of this, either.
I urge you to read the information from the links that I’ve provided. They give an accurate picture of the destruction that is being caused by the fires.