Canada: State of emergency declared in Alberta as wildfire forces Fort McMurray evacuation
May 4, Alberta: A state of emergency has been declared in the province of Alberta in Canada after a wildfire forced all 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray to flee.
Officials warn that the blaze could destroy much of the city and the next 24 hours will be crucial. The fast-moving fire, which broke out on Sunday, has already destroyed 1,600 structures in the Fort McMurray, reports said.
The evacuation was the largest in Alberta's history. Nearby oil companies have been forced to cut output, BBC reported.
Several firms operating in Alberta's oil sands region have shut down some pipelines. This was done to help evacuate non-essential personnel, reports say.
So far there have been no reports of injuries in the wildfire.
Official at Alberta's Agriculture and Forestry Ministry Bernie Schmitte said on Wednesday that the "catastrophic fire" had so far "resisted all suppression methods".
After flying over the burning city, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the blaze had moved north and east across Fort McMurray.
The Oslo Times