North

There's another casualty of the Fort McMurray wildfire: traplines

The vice-president of the Alberta Trappers Association says his trapline was spared, but estimates that at least 25 others were directly affected.

'If you're in the middle of a huge burn, where do you get the timber to rebuild your cabins?'

Bill Abercrombie, the vice-president of the Alberta Trappers Association, is worried the wildfires around Fort McMurray have devastated traplines. (submitted by Bill Abercrombie)

The vice-president of the Alberta Trappers Association is worried the wildfires around Fort McMurray have devastated traplines.

Abercrombie has a trapline between Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray. (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers)
Nearly 300,000 hectares of land has already burned. Bill Abercrombie, who has a trapline between Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray, says his trapline was spared, but estimates that at least 25 traplines were directly affected.

"These are people whose lives are tied to the land, and so I'm sure it's weighing on them very, very heavily.

"Access back into the habitat and the trapline is going to be a challenge and there are going to be some that have significant damage."

Abercrombie says it's impossible to know the extent of the damage to traplines and equipment until people can get back into the area.

Abercrombie says his trapline was spared, but estimates that at least 25 traplines were directly affected. (submitted by Bill Abercrombie)

"And if you're in the middle of a huge burn, where do you get the timber to rebuild your cabins? It's going to be really tough."

He says traplines between Fort McMurray and the Saskatchewan border faced the greatest threat. 

Abercrombie is also worried about how the fires are affecting wildlife in the area. He says a lot of prey species are likely either burned or displaced, which will have a significant impact.