The fire that is currently raging in the Alberta province around Fort McMurray is expanding in size, according to reports coming from the area on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Information provided suggests that the fire is being fed by conditions of lack of rain, dry vegetation, and extremely warm weather. According to Associated Press (AP), evacuations are continuing as officials search every residence for anyone who has not left the area. The town of Fort McMurray had already been evacuated.
Current wind speed and direction seem to be keeping the spread of the fire away from other towns that would otherwise be in its path. The local government in the province of Alberta had previously declared a state of emergency. Despite its massive size of 101,000 hectares, or about 390 square miles, the firestorm has caused no deaths or significant injuries.
The AP has reported that evacuation efforts presently underway are to get residents north of the area into safety. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated since the blaze began. According to the provincial manager of wildfire prevention, Chad Morrison, the conditions are ripe enough to double the size of the inferno by the end of today. Winds are driving the smoke to the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, creating poor air quality in that region of Canada.
Fort McMurray, Alberta is an oil sands area. It is reported that it has the third largest reserves of oil in the world waiting to be extracted. Some of the mining towns have been reduced to ghost towns because of the inferno.
By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Cathy Milne
Associated Press: Officials fear massive Alberta wildfire could double in size
Global News: Fort McMurray smoke spread to Sask. causing poor air quality
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