The wildfire in Fort McMurray has gotten more than eight times larger. Senior Manager of Wildfire, Agriculture and Forestry Chad Morrison says the fire grew rapidly yesterday.
“Due to the increase of winds. We had winds recorded on the site of up to 70 kilometres an hour, and those winds came from the northwest. The fire blew out to the southeast corner late last night and the fire’s now estimated to be 85,000 hectares.”
Morrison says the fire started creating its own weather at one point, including wind and lightning. The fire is expected to continue to burn out of control today, with more than 100 firefighters, 10 helicopters and at least 16 air tankers battling it. More than 200 firefighters and 25 trucks are in the city itself with reinforcements coming soon from Ontario and Quebec.
There are an estimated 25-thousand evacuees that made their way to oil and gas work camps north of the city. Premier Rachel Notley says a priority for the day will be moving some of the 25-thousand evacuees that moved north to oil and gas camps.
“And our focus right now is on getting those people south as quickly as possible. We are working in concert with industry to do as much air evacuation as possible. We are doing everything we can to open the highway so that we can get fuel up there.”
An evacuation order remains in effect for nearby Anzac, where many evacuees initially fled.