Fort McMurray forest fire 'being held'
Published Tuesday, September 27, 2011 6:49PM MDT
Fire crews are starting to get a handle on a blaze burning near Fort McMurray.
It's no longer burning out of control, rather it's classified as being held.
Cool weather and high humidity is helping to hold the flames, about 20 kilometres from the city.
About 60 firefighters, men and women, are working to get the upper-hand.
They're hoping this is the last blaze they'll see in what has been an exhausting fire season.
Between the Slave Lake, the Richardson back-country fire, and late fall blazes, crews have had their fill of flames in 2011.
"This is something that I love doing and I always wanted to do. So I'll keep coming back no matter how tired I am," said firefighter Dean White.
White didn't expect to be fighting forest fires in late September, but he said that's just the kind of year it's been. He and his family back home on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation are looking forward to the winter break.
Six helicopters continue to fight in the Fort McMurray skies, scooping buckets of water from nearby ponds. Normally in September most of these choppers are already grounded for the year, undergoing winter maintenance. But for firefighters on the ground and in the air, this has been far from ordinary in so many ways.
There is hope that this fire will soon be under control and crews can start going home. In this case it appears hard work and some co-operation from Mother Nature have prevented any buildings from being destroyed.