Saturday, May 28, 2016

2016 Outdoor Art Shows in May

 104th. Street and Jasper next to the farmers market
Old Strathcona Farmer's Market

May 28, 2016 Annual Walk For Values, Old Strathcona would become one of my favorite locations for doing my outdoor art shows. Next to Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo, in front of the Old Strathcona farmers market or along the popular Whyte Avenue.

Civil Information Leaflet

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We expect weeks, if not months, fighting this fire

May 24, 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘We expect weeks, if not months, fighting this fire: Despite much of the province seeing a cold, wet May long weekend, the Fort McMurray wildfire saw very little rain. The west edge of the fire received between three and five millimetres of rain while the northern edge – where the fire is most active – saw none at all. “Most of the growth is in those northern sections,” wildfire manager Chad Morrison said. “There was no rain received in the north or eastern portions. In the Fort McMurray area, there was very little rain.” As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the wildfire was 522,895 hectares in size. International crews helping: An additional 1,000 firefighters should be on the ground in the next two weeks from other parts of Canada, the United States and other parts of the world. There are currently 1,200 firefighters on scene, the majority of which are Alberta crews being rotated through. This week, firefighters from across parts of Canada, and the U.S., including Alaska, will arrive. Next week, international crews, including 280 firefighters from South Africa are expected to arrive. Global News

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016 Smoke clears over Fort McMurray

Working on Escape from Fort McMurray
Sir Winston Churchill Square

May 22, 2016 Smoke clears over Fort McMurray wildfire and it's bigger than previously thought The latest estimates peg the wildfire at 522,894 hectares on the Alberta side, and 2,496 hectares across the border into Saskatchewan, Laura Stewart, an Alberta wildfire information officer, confirmed Sunday afternoon. While the fire was reported to be 504,443 hectares yesterday, Stewart said it hasn’t grown, rather the weather helped to clear smoke in the area allowing firefighters to better assess the size. "Firefighters are making really great progress, taking advantage, of course, of these cooler temperatures,” she said, noting more rain is expected in the Fort McMurray area. Fire conditions in northeastern Alberta remain extreme and the wildfire in Fort McMurray remains out of control, even with the cooler weather. But that cooler, wet weather has allowed firefighters to reclassify the fire near Janvier, which was also reported as out of control on Saturday. A lot more rain fell in the Janvier area and the 146-hectare fire is now being held, Stewart said, adding that it isn’t expected to grow any further. Sixteen other fires are also burning in the province. Edmonton Journal

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 20, 21, 2016 Jasper National Park Wildfire 2015

"Just to give you a bit of size perception the wildfire by Medicine Lake was about about 900 hectares, the one in Fort McMurray has reached over 400,000 hectares right now. They definitely didn't call it the beast for nothing " - Tour Guide Malory, Maligne Lake tour, Jasper National Park. May 20, 2016

May 21, 2016 Jasper National Park: This Youtube was filmed by Excelsior Creek from the north end of Medicine Lake and later on a boat cruise to Spirit Island on Maligne lake. Last year's wildfire burned 966 hectares causing 1,000 tourists, hikers and campers to be evacuated. Our tour guide shared her experiences from the 2015 evacuation from Maligne lake. Later we stopped by the Jasper park visitor information center where we met a woman who works in forestry. She told us that just weeks after the wildfires at Excelsior Creek, grass had already begun to grow back in that area. Jasper National Park Visitor Information

YouTube: 2015 Wildfire Jasper, Maligne Valley Evacuation

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016 - Married under a smoke filled sky

May 19, 2016 Today my fiance Sarah and I were married under a big tree that I had painted behind the Alberta Legislature. All day it threatened rain for our wedding ceremony but instead we were shrouded in wildfire smoke. On a clear day the High Level Bridge in the background of this photo my daughter took would have easily been seen on a clear day. YouTube: Painting the big tree

July 15, 2015: Mother Nature tempers raging wildfire in Maligne Valley. Rain and cooler temperatures continue to help fire crews fight the Excelsior Wildfire burning out of control in the Maligne Valley, about 15 kilometres south east of Jasper. The fire, suspected to be caused by a lightning strike, was first reported on July 9 around 3:30 p.m. and forced more than 1,000 people to flee the picturesque valley over the course of two days. With the more recent rain and continued cooler temperatures it’s definitely helped to continue to slow the Excelsior Wildfire,” said Kim Weir, fire communications officer for Jasper National Park. "It certainly isn’t as intense as last Thursday or Friday. This has provided us an opportunity to attack the fire directly.” Initially, the fire was too intense to allow firefighters on the ground and bucketing water from the air proved pointless because the fire was too powerful to control with small amounts of water. After overnight rainfall on Friday, Parks Canada was finally able to put people on the ground on Saturday. The fire runs along the flanks of Medicine Lake and extends along its southwest side toward Excelsior Creek, explained Weir. It crossed Maligne Lake Road at the north end of the lake and burned the slopes along part of the road, near the Medicine Lake lookout. In a rare bit of good news, an eagle’s nest at Medicine Lake appears to have survived the fire, despite the tree it’s perched on being partially burned. "I heard from at least two folks that the eaglet was on the nest,” said Weir. Jasper's Independent Newspaper Jasper FitzHugh

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 - Fort McMurray evacuees return

May 18, 2016 Fort McMurray evacuees could return home starting June 1 More than 80,000 residents displaced by wildfire living at evacuation centres or with friends, family. For a few moments Wednesday, political differences were set aside, when Wildrose Opposition leader Brian Jean — who lost his own house to the flames — thanked the NDP government for its efforts on behalf of his constituents.Jean took over the podium for a few minutes and spoke of the anguish and grief shared by the people he represents in the legislature. "I know that every morning I've been receiving messages from my family," said Jean, who paused briefly, the words caught in his throat, "my friends, and my neighbours. They are tired, stressed, and waiting to hear this news." CBC

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016 - NBC News, Fort McMurray's Wildfire

NBC News covers the Fort McMurray's Wildfire, June 2016, #7

May 10, 2016 Alberta Legislature: Wildfires in Fort McMurray had halted oil production. An NBC news crew from New York set up cameras and lighting next to my easel where I had already begun painting this morning. They would interview executives in the oil industry who were here to meet with Government officials inside the Legislature. The crew allowed me to film some of their interviews anchored by a reporter who came in from Vancouver. The news director thanked me for asking for permission first before I filmed. It was the natural thing to do after I completed my painting later in June to title it NBC News Covers Fort McMurray's Wildfire.

May 10, 2016 Fort McMurray Fire: Stunned Alberta Leaders Get First Look at Devastation Regional leaders and journalists got their first close-up look Monday at the cataclysmic landscape left behind by the raging wildfire in Alberta. Authorities raised the number of structures reported lost in the half-million-acre inferno near Fort McMurray to 2,400, up by 50 percent from Sunday. But Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said after Monday's bus tour of the area that "we've saved almost 25,000 [structures], including the hospital, municipal buildings and every functioning school." The tour revealed a blackened, charred moonscape of smoky ruins, damage so stark that Intact Financial, Canada's largest insurer, called "unprecedented." Charles Brindamour, Intact's chief executive officer, said in a statement that the company has sent more than 1,000 claims workers to the city to help customers who've lost their homes, cars and businesses. Notley acknowledged, "It was quite overwhelming in some spots." But she said, "It reinforced to me how much work and how much success was achieved over the last few days by those heroic firefighters." Notley promised that Fort McMurray would emerge "with real structural resilience, with most of its critical infrastructure preserved." They will be rebuilt," she promised. USA/ NBC News

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 8, 2016, Wildfire in Fort McMurray Reactions

May 8, 2016, 5 days of wildfire in Fort McMurray: During today's Fire and Rain outdoor art show held just inside Sir Winston Churchill square a white haired, weather faced First Nations man told me he wanted to see Fort McMurray and all the oil sands industries destroyed by the wildfires for poisoning the water, the animals and his people living downstream from the oil-sands.

YouTube: A man recites a poem for the people of Fort McMurray.

YouTube: A Message to Fort McMurray from Slave Lake Wildfire Survivor

May 3, 2016 Afternoon - Fort McMurrayThe Beast

Fort McMurray wildfire-The Beast, #5

May 3, 2016 Afternoon : May 3, 2016 Afternoon : As evacuations continued throughout the afternoon I set up my easel next to the TV and began to paint while watching the news unfold on Global TV. I later title it Fort McMurray Wildfire - The Beast. The YouTube I uploaded that night received many views with many thumbs down from my viewers who probably thought I was exploiting the tragedies of the day for financial gain. Later this week the editor of the Edmonton Journal did not take kindly to my YouTube uploaded and shared on their reader comment section of their on-line newspaper. They removed my video and all my comments relating to the wildfires in Fort McMurray. I later cancelled my reader subscription as a result. Later this summer an Edmonton Journal would do a story on the Fire and Rain project that was featured on the front pages of thier print edition. This YouTube has since reversed its thumbs down trend to thumbs up. I was a former employee with the Journal 27 years.

"Your best work, when you do it, will always upset the general public – they're always a few years behind you. - Canadian abstract painter Jack Bush

May 3, 2016 Noon - Horse River, Wood Buffalo

Fire by a river bed (practice painting) #4

Artist Log May 3, 2016 Noon:  A Wildrose MLA took this photo of me with NDP MLA Anam Kazim of Calgary-Glenmore. Anam, accepted my painting Fire by a river bed as a gift and promised she would share my Fire and Rain art project leaflets inside the Alberta Legislature with her colleagues. Hours later wildfire surrounded Fort McMurray and evacuations began.