Fire Fighting in Canada

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Wildfire forces Alberta residents to evacuate

May 3, 2016, Fort McMurray, Alta. - A wildfire in northern Alberta has hundreds of residents on edge, wondering if they should flee their homes or stay.

About 500 residents forced to leave their homes on the weekend were allowed to return home yesterday, but about 200 residents in a trailer park remain on mandatory evacuation and another 500 people in the Gregoire area have been told to be ready to leave.

Bernie Schmitte, the forestry manager in Fort McMurray, said last evening that the wildfire was just 1.5 kilometres from the nearest residence and was 1.2 square kilometres in size.

Darby Allen, the regional fire chief for the Wood Buffalo municipality, said no structures have been lost and there have been no injuries.

Melissa Blake, the mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo south of Fort McMurray, has urged people to not light any backyard fires this week, flick cigarette butts out of vehicle windows or use ATVs or off-highway vehicles on backyard trails.

The province says it will send more firefighters to the area and a heavy helicopter capable of dumping large volumes of water was en route.


News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

May 3, 2016
By The Canadian Press