May 19, 2024
On Wednesday morning, police are still blocking access to the neighbourhoods under an evacuation order. The true number of people who have left Fort McMurray will take time to calculate, but entire streets in other parts of Fort McMurray had no vehicles in driveways, curtains closed and lights off. Police have increased patrols.

Firefighters ready defences as Fort McMurray wildfire grows, scatters residents

As of 8 a.m., the wildfire is nearly 21,000 hectares and 5.5 kilometres from Fort McMurray’s landfill. Thousands of people have fled.

The wildfire that has scattered thousands of people across the province has grown to 20,940 hectares. As of 8 a.m., Alberta Wildfire says the fire’s closest point to Fort McMurray is 5.5 kilometres from the landfill. The fire is also 4.5 kilometres from the intersection of highways 63 and 881. It has not yet crossed the Athabasca River.

There are 117 firefighters and 14 helicopters attacking the wildfire today. Airtankers will also fly through the region dropping water and retardant along the fire’s active edges.

Two helicopters with night vision were out until 3 a.m. dropping more than 116,000 gallons of water along the fire’s active edges. Pilots were helped with light, scattered showers during the evening. Ground crews have been working 24-hours building a containment line near the landfill.

Sprinkler systems have been deployed along parts of Highway 63, and in the neighbourhoods of Beacon Hill, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation’s Gregoire Lake reserve, Prairie Creek and Rickards Landing Industrial Park. A plan for similar systems is in place for Amoco Road.

Alberta Wildfire hopes cool temperatures and weaker winds forecast for Wednesday morning will slow the fire’s growth. Winds are pushing the fire southeast and away from Fort McMurray and Highway 63.

Interesting Read…

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