Upwards of 80,000 people living in Fort McMurray, Alberta have been forced to evacuate their homes after forest fires have engulfed much of the city.
The city of Fort McMurray has been destroyed by 10 percent with more than 2,400 built structures destroyed, and 229,000 hectares burned due to blazing wildfires. By the evening of Tuesday, May 10, there are 25 wildfires still burning across the province which remain at least 25 kilometres from Saskatchewan.
On Friday, May 6, mandatory evacuation orders continued to expand and fires continued to rage, with approximately 1,600 building structures destroyed and at least 101,000 hectares burned by the raging fires. Along evacuation routes, fuel was reported to have been scarce while residents left not knowing if they will return to find their home and community intact. With windy and warm weather conditions worsening the blaze, by the afternoon of May 4, it was already reported that Fort McMurray’s Waterways neighbourhood is 90 percent destroyed, while the Abasand community has been destroyed by 50 percent.
By the afternoon of May 6, 40 wildfires are burning and winds are reported at 40 kilometres per hour with temperatures forecasted to reach 29° by May 7, making it difficult for emergency crews to manage the ongoing fires.
As of May 27, fires continue to burn in Alberta and more than 2,000 firefighters are working to control the situation. More than 566,188 Alberta hectares and 3,200 Saskatchewan hectares have been burned, and fire crews working on the situation have come from as far as South Africa, Newfoundland and the United States to extinguish 20 ongoing wildfires.
By September 2016, over 77,000 Fort McMurrary residents have registered within the Fort McMurrary municipality.