My parents arrived to visit this evening. They arrived just in time. A massive forest fire raging across northern Alberta is currently in the process of utterly destroying the town of Slave Lake and its neighbouring communities. Over 7000 people evacuated, at least 80% of the town already confirmed to be burning.
My parents live just north of Slave Lake. They had to drive through the town on the way out to visit me. Mum said she even saw lots of smoke as they went, but at the time it was still okay. Not so much anymore. They're watching the news avidly for any mention of the fire's progress, hoping everyone makes it out safely. The only highway in and out, HWY 2, was closed for a while but they opened it up again to help evacuate everyone.
There aren't many pictures yet, but Twitter's alive with on-the-spot reports. The local radio station made one last announcement at 9pm confirming their own building in the downtown core was on fire. The Town Hall and Public Library are both confirmed casualties. The Hospital was evacuated, but as of an hour ago was not yet ablaze.
Will be watching the news and the web for updates for a while, me thinks.