By Martin Lukacs
As the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray finally moves past the city, and the province tallies the heartbreaking damage, a search will begin to discover the source of the destruction.
Investigators will comb the nearby forests for clues, tracing the fire’s path to what they call its “point of origin.” They’ll interview witnesses, collect satellite imagery, and rule out natural causes—much like the work of detectives.
Except in the age of climate change-fuelled mega-fires, this truly is a crime scene.
Not, I mean, the handiwork of troublesome teenagers, nor a campfire left accidentally burning. The devastation of Fort McMurray is the predictable outcome of arson on an entirely different scale.
These arsonists have a name and they’re hiding in plain view—because their actions, at the moment, are still considered legal. They’re the companies that helped turn the boreal forest into a flammable tinder-box. The same companies that have undermined attempts to rein in carbon emissions. The same companies that, by their very design, chase profits with no mind for the ecological and human consequences.