fire moves closer to oil town of Fort McMurray

A powerful fire was approaching the oil town of Fort McMurray in western Canada on Wednesday. Already more than 6,000 residents have been evacuated. Authorities hope to see the flames go away soon.

The immense blaze which threatens the oil town of Fort McMurray in western Canada gained further ground on Wednesday May 15, the day after the evacuation of more than 6,000 residents, but the authorities are hoping for a little respite in the hours to come.

The fire more than doubled in size in 24 hours, driven by strong winds, to nearly 21,000 hectares and is now less than 4.5km from the city. But the wind has died down and is expected to move the fire away from the city and highway, Christine Tucker of the Alberta Fire Department said at a news conference.

“It’s very favorable for us,” she said. But authorities called on residents to be vigilant as conditions could “deteriorate quickly”.

Located in Alberta (west), Fort McMurray is known as the hotspot for Canada’s oil production. This city of 70,000 inhabitants is also the symbol of the biggest natural disaster in the history of the country, in terms of destruction, after being partially ravaged by flames in 2016.

“Fear” and “uncertainty”

Four southern neighborhoods of the town were evacuated on Tuesday and the entire city is on alert. Many stores are closed, as are some schools, and the smell of smoke has invaded the entire city.

With AFP

Read more on FRANCE 24

Also read:
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Fires are gaining ground in western Canada, where thousands of residents are evacuated
In pictures: megafires in Canada, race against time to evacuate part of the Far North



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