On 3 May 2016, an evacuation put 80,000 residents onto Fort McMurray’s sole access road without notice. What followed was a new form of hyper-energized anthropogenic fire that burnt uncontrollably through their settlement and industry over three days. These pictures were made along that road as the region recovered 6 months afterward.
This event was one of the 21st Century’s first mega-fires, which drastically affect dense human populations. On The Line is an introduction to mega-fires. McFetridge develops his long form understanding of fire by building on historical records and observing differences between cultural production created on the same landscape. The method uses research and photography to emphasize attitudes and values that can be seen morphed into the landscape through the device of technology.
Alan McFetridge’s work considers the relationships between fire, landscape, and human activity. He works with leaders in a range of academic fields to examine how fire regimes are changing and what might be behind the cause. His projects are currently focused in fiery landscapes of Northern Canada and Australia.