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1,600 structures destroyed by Fort McMurray wildfire

More than 10,000 hectares of land has been burned by the wildfire in Fort McMurray. Fire Chief Darby Allen says they worked through the night and as of 5 a.m. this morning every structure fire within the city.

“This is a nasty, dirty fire. There is certainly areas that have not been burned, but this fire will look for them and it will find them and it will want to take them, and our challenge today is to try and prevent that, and prevent any more structure loss.”

Premier Rachel Notley estimates 1,600 structures have been destroyed and 88,000 people evacuated. Wood Buffalo Acting Director of Community Services Dale Benfeld says they’re continuing to check homes day and night for stragglers.

“So we’ve been doing it by presence patrols, door knocks, bullhorns; anything that can draw anybody out to know that we are in and around. All of the emergency lights are on, so at this time we’re confident we’ve done as much as we can to get everybody the message to get out.”

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Officials have also taken in 48 stranded animals to a reception centre. Chief Allen says the best way for people from other communities to help is by donating to the Red Cross, along with offers of equipment and apparatus.

The Fort McMurray wildfire has so far resisted all suppression efforts. While the cold front coming through today with help with humidity, it could also bring lightning.

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