The monstrous wildfire that has gutted the city of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta is the largest fire recorded in the province’s history. It has now declared a state of emergency.
The massive fire-giant took over the city on Sunday. It has engulfed around 1600 structures in the city and is expected to take its toll over to the larger area.
According to The Guardian, more than 80,000 inhabitants were ordered to evacuate the city on Tuesday, as the fire turned nasty after the city encountered bad wind shifts. It is the largest evacuation in the province’s history. However, no injuries have been reported so far by the government officials.
Rachel Anne Notley, current Premiere of Alberta, said she visited the city of Fort McMurray to get a look at the predicament. After flying over the city, she said that the blaze has shifted north and east across the city. Authorities foresee that the fire could catch up into the Thickwood and Timberlea communities. The area around the airport could be affected.
— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) May 4, 2016
Though heartbroken to leave their homes, Fort McMurray residents clambered to make their way down to the main highway out of the city after the order to evacuate was issued. They struggled to cut through the grey rain of ashes; finding their way through the smoke. Later, many of the residents were stranded on the highway after gas pumps got dry.
The size of the fire is estimated to have grown around 7500 hectares. Experts warned that the continued hot and windy weather could fuel up the blaze.
Bernie Schmitte of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry said: “The worst of the fire is not over. We’re still faced with very high temperatures, low relative humidity, and some strong winds.”
The major residential damage of property was reported to be in the different areas of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Data show that Beacon Hill suffered 70 percent loss of homes, Waterways suffered 90 percent loss and Abasand lost 50 percent of its homes.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured the people of Fort McMurray of his government’s support. He tweeted: ” Tonight I spoke with Premier Notley and offered our government’s support to the people of Fort McMurray. We stand ready to help. #ymmfire.”
Though Alberta’s loss is profound, we will get through this together – as neighbours, friends and Canadians. You can count on our support.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 4, 2016