Canada Fire Rages for Seventh Day

by Jared Lewis May 10, 2016, 3:49

Ms Notley said there would be a meeting with the energy industry on Tuesday.

Canada's oil output has been greatly hampered by the mass evacuations - roughly 18,000 people from the oil sands mines of Fort McMurray have been airlifted out or transported by police-escorted convoys.

Notley thanked rescue personnel for their "miraculous" work in helping evacuate roughly 100,000 area inhabitants.

There have been no deaths from the fire but Ms Notley became emotional when she paid tribute to two evacuees who died in a auto accident during the evacuation.

Officials said on Sunday that crews will begin examining the damage from blaze and check on the infrastructure like natural gas lines and the power grid.

Morrison said firefighters hoped that rains and cooler temperatures predicted for today and winds from the west, gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour (35 mph) should help keep the flames away from the petroleum work camps in coming days.

More than 500 firefighters were in and around Fort McMurray, along with 15 helicopters, 14 air tankers and 88 other pieces of equipment, officials said.

One minister warned much work lay ahead but "we may be turning a corner". It was estimated that by Monday these fires would engulf the oil sands of the region but the cooler weather put a cap on the overextending wildfires. Officials say it could have been sparked by someone who discarded a cigarette or it could have been a camp fire gone wrong.

The wildfire which has scorched through Canada's oil sands region in northeast Alberta since last Sunday night had been expected to double in size on Sunday, threatening the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan.

In the rush to leave, some Fort McMurray residents were forced to flee without their pets and a website has been set up so volunteers can reach stranded animals.

The Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta, Canada has destroyed about 620 square miles, almost the size of Houston.

The Israeli humanitarian aid charity IsraAid told the Jewish News that it already had a volunteer on the ground in Alberta to assess evacuees' needs and would be sending a team to Canada for the first time.

Notley said the wildfire grew much more slowly than was feared and was now about 620 square miles (1,600 square kilometers) in size.

Meanwhile, a video has emerged of an emotional fire chief telling reporters how his colleagues are heroes.

She came up on Thursday in hopes that she could help retrieve animals that were left behind in homes, but has not yet been able to get into Fort McMurray. "We're really working hard on that, it's a complicated process", he said.

Many citizens have taken off to Calgary and Edmonton while firefighters continue to battle tirelessly against a blaze that could ultimately cost up to $7 billion.

Officials said that, even though the fire had largely pushed through Fort McMurray and was heading quickly northeast through dry boreal forests, the town was still too risky to enter. "We can really get in there and really get a handle on this fire. get a death grip on it".


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