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Fire|Water
Fire|Water
fire|water

Wildfire has moved closer to Canadian oil city, says local authority

15th May 2024

By: Reuters

  

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OTTAWA - A large wildfire threatening the major Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray moved closer overnight and weather conditions were unfavorable, the local authority said on Wednesday.

The fire was just 5.5 km away from the city's landfill, compared with 7.5 km late on Tuesday, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, said in a statement.

Around 6 000 people in four southwestern suburbs closest to the blaze were told to evacuate on Tuesday, and highways out of the city in the western province of Alberta soon became clogged.

Night vision-equipped aircraft dropped a total of around 525 000 liters of water on the blaze overnight. A shower sprinkled 0.3mm of rain on the area, not enough to affect the fire, the authority said.

"Fire behavior will be subdued in the morning, with an inversion layer holding the smoke layer close to the ground. This inversion will likely break by noon, and the sun will dry out the fuels that received that precipitation and will be available to burn again this afternoon," it said.

Fort McMurray is the hub for the country's oil-sands output. A huge wildfire in 2016 forced the evacuation of 90 000 residents and shut in more than one-million barrels per day of output.

Edited by Reuters

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