Canada: Nature's Handiwork

Nature's Handiwork

Tinder-dry jack pines, white and black spruce, poplar and birch trees exploded in the heat as more than 3 million acres of Canadian timberland went up in smoke during the past two weeks. Some 4,400 fire fighters battled 560 lightning-ignited fires that swept across northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. "The whole north is virtually blowing up on us," sighed Albert Driedger, Manitoba's minister for emergency services. With high winds pushing dense smoke toward Indian reservations, provincial premier Gary Filmon declared a state of emergency.

Though no deaths or serious injuries were reported, nearly 25,000 people were evacuated from their homes and...

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