Wildfire In Canadian Oil Country Forces Over 88,000 To Flee

Massive Wildfire Forces 88,000 To Flee

A massive wildfire in the Canadian oil town of Fort McMurray has forced the entire population of over 88,000 people to evacuate.

State Of Emergency Declared

Yesterday, Alberta officials declared a state of emergency after the wildfire destroyed 1,600 homes and buildings and prompted the mandatory evacuation of the city. Over 250 firefighters are desperately working to control the blaze.

Around 70,000 people evacuated in bumper to bumper traffic along Highway 63. Many motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles along the evacuation route after they ran out of gas.

So far, no injuries or fatalities have been reported from the fire itself, but one person lost their life in a vehicular crash along the evacuation route.

Wildfire Devastates Already Struggling Community

The economy of Fort McMurray has already struggled because of dipping oil prices, leaving some to wonder if the community will ever fully recover from the effects of the wildfire.

Shell has shut down oil production in the area to focus on getting workers out safely.

Authorities say that unusually hot temperatures and dry conditions are to blame for the spread of the wildfire. Cooler temperatures and rain may be on the way for the area, which would help fire crews to stop the blaze.

Sources:
Vice
NBC News
The Chicago Tribune
Reuters