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The Chinchaga Firestorm

When the Moon and Sun Turned Blue

Cordy Tymstra
Mike Flannigan, Foreword

Environmental Studies

Published: July 2015
ISBN: 9781772120035
Pages: 248 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 22

The biggest firestorm documented in North America—3,500,000 acres of forest burned in northern Alberta and British Columbia—created the world’s largest smoke layer in the atmosphere. The smoke was seen around the world, causing the moon and the sun to appear blue. The Chinchaga Firestorm is a historical study of the effects of fire on the ecological process. Using technical explanations and archival discoveries, the author shows the beneficial yet destructive effects of forest fires, including the 2011 devastation of Slave Lake, Alberta. Cordy Tymstra tells the stories of communities and individuals as their lives intersected with the path of the wildfire—stories that demonstrate people’s spirit, resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and persistence in the struggle against nature’s devastating power. The 1950 event changed the way these fires are fought in Alberta. Forest fire scientists, foresters, forest ecologists and policy makers, as well as those who are interested in western Canadian history and ecology, will definitely want this book in their library.

Cordy Tymstra is a Wildlife Science Co-ordinator with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development at the Government of Alberta. He lives in Edmonton.