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APTN National News
Fire crews in Alberta are engaging a “multi-headed monster” wildfire that has so far consumed 10,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of 88,000 people from Fort McMurray and destroyed over 1,000 structures in the city, the premier and officials said Wednesday.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the wildfire destroyed 1,600 structures in the city which was evacuated Tuesday amid apocalyptic scenes of highways lined with vehicles fleeing their homes against a flaming backdrop.
Darby Allen, director of emergency management for the Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality, said fire crews were facing another “bad day” following Tuesday’s sudden shift in the wildfire that penetrated Fort McMurray, destroying a whole swaths of neighbourhoods.
“No one is hurt and no one is passed away right now,” said an emotional Allen, in a teleconference with reporters Wednesday. “I really hope we can get to the end of this and still say that. We are here, we are strong and we’ll keep doing our jobs.”
Allen said fire crews worked throughout out the night fighting flames within the city which were finally vanquished by about 5 a.m.
“This is a nasty, dirty fire. There are certainly areas within the city that have not been burned, but this fire will look for them, find them and will want to take them,” said Allen.
Chief Allan Adam says that the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is organizing a plane to gather displaced members and fly them back to Fort Chipewyan, but that displaced members need to contact their band office with their location. (CBC)
"If they want to come back for Fort Chip, we're trying to get a plane arranged. But we need to get organized."
Adam said that the First Nation has clearance to land at a Shell airstrip north of Fort McMurray, where a plane will pick up residents and bring them back to Fort Chipewyan. However, he added that the First Nation was having difficulty reaching all its members.
"We've got people all over the place, we can't get ahold of everybody," he said. "People are everywhere. People are displaced everywhere.
"I've got people down in Lac La Biche, Edmonton. My wife is stranded in Albian Sands. We have boats that launched on the lake this morning [to try and ferry people home by water], some of them are still stranded on the lake, on the ice right now. Some have went through.
"We're doing what we can, but everybody's in disarray right now, because nobody could understand the magnitude of how important this is."
originally posted by: fernalley
Why was the State of Emergency called so late? Would it have made no difference to the devastation that is still on going?
originally posted by: Soloprotocol
Just an observation. Whilst everyone is fleeing for there lives, What sort of a employer still has there employees man the Gas stations.
originally posted by: Dumbass
a reply to: Rocker2013
That is exactly what my little kid said too on which I agree.
Even that dude on the motorcycle just waited in line until the fire was right next to him.
originally posted by: masqua
Regarding the orderly, calm evacuation of Fort Mac and communities south, it is probably a good system not to create a mad scramble out of the affected areas.
originally posted by: masqua
Don't you think the fact that so many are surviving this terrible situation safely is a testament to the 'Canadian Personality', where concern for others is primary?
originally posted by: Caver78
Still very dire up there.
For the commenters who felt the need to smugly diss the Tar Sands while this community is facing this unprecedented disaster. Let me remind you, oil prices have tanked and economically this area was already in a world of hurt.
originally posted by: Sparkymedic
a reply to: Caver78
I'm far from one of those climate change "nuts"...but I'm also not oblivious to man made pollution.
they sure as hell have made quite the mess up there in the tar sands...call it karma?