The thermometer read a stunning 9°C (48°F) when we reached Edmonton. The locals looked beside themselves on the busy streets: jogging, walking cats and dogs, reading on park benches, playing (field) hockey, and having a jolly old time. It was January but it felt like spring break. Edmonton is one of North America’s northernmost and coldest cities. Its chilliest month is January, during which its average daily temperature is a brisk –11.7°C (11°F). Its record low, also established in January (back in 1886), is a traffic-stopping –48.3°C (–56.9°F). To make matters worse, Alberta’s capital is very windy. There are winter days when Edmonton is colder than Moscow, the planet Mars, and even Winnipeg. But in spite of the heat wave we decided we would stick to our plan to study heating. While the weather wasn’t the most propitious, Alberta still retained its status as Canada’s most natural-gas-dependent province and, it goes without saying, the world’s most controversial oil producer due to its resource-intensive obsession with bitumen extraction. Alberta, in other words, was the place to research off-gridders’ reliance on fire.