People are trying to attach climate change to the massive Fort McMurray wildfire - from the New Yorker:
Fort McMurray and the Fires of Climate Change
In reality, this is just another classic application of Hanlon's razor:
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
From Eric Worrall writing at Watts Up With That:
Fort McMurray Wildfire – Climate or Incompetence?
The climate vultures are gathering – already attempts are being made to link the out of control Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta, Canada with “climate change”. But there is something about this disaster which caught my eye – a comment which may hint to a very different reason, why the Fort McMurray wildfire is so out of control.
Eric then quotes from this article at Canada's GlobalNews.ca:
“The boreal forest is a fire-dependant ecosystem. The spruce trees, pine trees, they like to burn,” Bernie Schmitte, forestry manager in Fort McMurray, explained.
“They have to burn to regenerate themselves, and those species have adapted themselves to fire. Their cones have adapted so they open up after the fire has left, and the trees have adapted in that once they’re old and need to be replaced, they’re available to fire so they burn.”
Officials said that as long as it remains safe to do so, firefighters would be working with bulldozers through the night to construct a fire break between the tip of the fire and Highway 63.
Eric then comments:
Australians like myself also sometimes face serious risk from wildfires, our forests are also “fire-dependent ecosystems”. It is normal to attempt to cut new emergency firebreaks during a severe fire, to try to prevent further spread. But an emergency firebreak is no substitute for properly maintained firebreaks which were created before the wildfire strikes.
He then quotes from this article at the Edmonton Journal:
Alberta’s aging forests increase risk of ‘catastrophic fires’: 2012 report
“Wildfire suppression has significantly reduced the area burned in Alberta’s boreal forest. However, due to reduced wildfire activity, forests of Alberta are aging, which ultimately changes ecosystems and is beginning to increase the risk of large and potentially costly catastrophic wildfires.”
Eric closes with these two paragraphs:
Understaffed, under-resourced forestry workers struggling to contain a growing risk of wildfire, a risk which has been exacerbated by excessive fire suppression causing a buildup of flammables, is a recipe for disaster.
Did Alberta authorities act, and act effectively, on the recommendations of committee? I don’t know the answer to that question. It is possible weather conditions are so severe, even completely reasonable forest safety measures have been overwhelmed by the ferocity of the fire. But if my property and life was directly affected by the current ongoing conflagration, my first question to Alberta authorities would not be “why didn’t you build more wind turbines?”.
Much more at the site and the two linked articles. This is a very similar situation to the catastrophic Yellowstone fire of 1988. The policy there had been to surpress any and all forest fires and this led to an aging forest with a huge fire loading. One spark and we had the largest forest fire in recorded history.