Fort McMurray evacuates due to wildfire

By Rosalind Russell – Just over 8 years since a massive wildfire tore through parts of Fort McMurray, an evacuation order has been issued for several neighbourhoods in the northern Alberta city as a wildfire creeps ever closer. An Alberta Emergency Alert rang out Tuesday afternoon for those in the Beacon Hill, Abasand, Prairie Creek, and Grayling Terrace neighbourhoods, with nearly 250 kilometres of Highway 63 now closed to general traffic to clear the way for evacuees heading south. The fire,  approximately 96 hundred hectares in size, is roughly 15 km southwest of the closest city boundary, with hot, gusting winds hampering fire crews’ attempts to contain the blaze. The rest of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas remain under evacuation alert.

Photo: Plumes of heavy smoke and the smell of wood burning is the first sign of a wildfire approaching Fort McMurray. Photo supplied

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