Fort McMurray Is on Fire, Whole Town Ordered to Evacuate

An out-of-control fire has forced the evacuation of Canada's main oil town.
May 3, 2016, 11:14pm

Photo via Instagram user peter_pdp

Update: Alberta has ordered all of Fort McMurray to evacuate as an out-of-control wildfire moves in on Canada's epicentre for oil and gas development. The town's regional district issued the mandatory evacuation order at 6:20 PM local time.

Evacuation area as of 5 PM Tuesday. Photo via Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality

Scary scary scary. I love this town — Sinead (@SidlySquidly)May 3, 2016

Residents following the evacuation order tweeted out photos of the flames from standstill traffic Tuesday afternoon. "Still stuck on the road in Abasand and the flames are getting closer," wrote one driver. "Please get us all out of here." Flames soon spread across Highway 63, closing all traffic south of Mackenzie Boulevard.

My harrowing drive evacuating — Jordan J Stuffco (@jstuffcocrimlaw)May 3, 2016

The blaze had doubled in size to over 2,500 hectares by Monday night, and fire officials anticipated a tough day at a press briefing this morning. "The fire conditions are extreme," Darby Allen, regional fire chief for the Wood Buffalo regional municipality told media at 11 AM. With humidity down and hotter ambient temperatures, Allen predicted "the fire will be able to go more ferociously and quicker than in days previously."

Alberta's latest emergency alert said firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment are working to contain the fire, and that more resources are on the way.

Today most of Alberta has been under "very high" or "extreme" wildfire risk according to Environment Canada.

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