Haymaker is a series of photographs that delves into the aftermath of a wildfire on the newly formed edges of a vast wild land. It begins at the origin of ‘the beast’ and the charred aftermath deep within the heart of the earth’s largest ecological community of plants and animals, the boreal forest. A remote supply city is badly affected and is in the process of cleaning up and rebuilding 6 months after fire swept through. The proximity of this fire to industry suggests complex circumstances. With the fire cycle is an integral factor in shaping the boreal and like the fire in my dreams, it consumed everything in its path, creating place for new. I travelled to the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta explore the zones of contact along wildlife-urban and industrial interface to ask whether there will ever be enough fire?
Coming July 2017
On the 29th of April 2016; heated muskeg from a quad bike’s exhaust fell onto the forest floor igniting a fire. Reaching temperatures of 1000°C, crossing 280 meters across the Athabasca River and burning for more 30 days, it became an unstoppable force eventually blackening 588,621 hectares of forest with a circumference of 1000km by the end of May 2016. At it’s most formidable, the fire created it’s own weather system, producing towering pyrocumulus clouds which generated their own lightning storms which ignite further fires. In addition to the destroyed biomass, habitat and life of wild land animals, all 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray were forced to evacuate their homes as 2,400 homes were reduced to ash. The destruction of urban developments and industrial infrastructure resulted in the costliest disaster in Canadian history.
This selection of photographs is a representation of the project for more information please contact the studio.