70,000 Fort McMurray residents under wildfire evacuation order in Canadian oil sands hub

Chunzi Xu, Bloomberg May 12, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Fort McMurray, hub of Canada’s oil sands operations, is under an evacuation alert as an out-of-control fire rages about 16 km (10 miles) southwest of the Alberta town.

“The wildfire danger is extreme in the Fort McMurray Forest Area,” according to a notice from the Alberta government posted at 9 p.m. on Friday. Strong winds are expected on Saturday as a cold front passes over the region, potentially fanning the flames further.

About 70,000 residents of Fort McMurray are being advised to be ready to leave on short notice. Hundreds more in the nearby Saprea Creek Estates are under the same alert from the municipality of Wood Buffalo. 

“GWF029 is an out of control wildfire located 13 km northwest of Valhalla Centre. Crews from the County of Grande Prairie and Alberta Wildfire are responding to this 90ha fire,” Alberta Wildfire said on social media platform “X” on Saturday.

Massive fires burned down swathes of Fort McMurray eight years ago, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate and temporarily shutting more than MMbpd of oil production.  

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