The fire in Fort McMurray continues to grow following yesterday’s hot weather, which caused more flare-ups.
The massive wildfire now spreads across 355,000 hectares, having grown from 285,000 hectares yesterday.
Conditions yesterday forced the government to order the evacuation of the staff at several oil and gas camps north of the city. Roughly 8,000 non-essential workers were evacuated, about 6,000 of whom went to camps further north that are not threatened by fire at this time.
In the fresh blaze, the Blacksand Lodge has been completely destroyed, including all 665 housing units, and more homes were lost in Fort McMurray. There were also two explosions in the city last night that destroyed 10 structures. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo says the explosions were in both the Dickinsfield and Thickwood neighbourhoods. However, the province has confirmed the areas are no longer under immediate threat. Scott Long with Alberta Emergency Management says the cause is still under investigation.
As well, Alberta Wildfire says the blaze continues to grow in extreme conditions and should reach the Saskatchewan border today.