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HomeNewsExplosions in Fort McMurray claim 10 more homes

Explosions in Fort McMurray claim 10 more homes

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.

“It just highlights the uncertainty of the challenges of re-entry planning and re-establishing essential services. We’ve restored 60 per cent of the gas infrastructure in Fort McMurray; no explosions. Part of the challenge is that we are not going into anyone’s home at all so what caused it [is] unknown.”

As well, Alberta Wildfire says the blaze continues to grow in extreme conditions and should reach the Saskatchewan border today.

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“We expect the eastern front to reach the Saskatchewan border likely today with the western winds, but it is a dynamic situation and extreme fire conditions exist. We don’t see any relief at this point until we see rain in the forecast,” says Chad Morrison, Wildfire Compliance and Investigations Manager.
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