Homes in Alberta Reduced to Rubble in Canadian Wildfire, Leaving Thousands Displaced
By: Kes Paris, Xiro Xone News May 6, 2016 Updated: 6:55 AM
Thousands of homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta, were reduced to ash as a wildfire continues to ravage the oil sands area, leaving tens of thousands of people displaced.
Officials said close to 100,000 residents have fled their homes as the fire gains new ground, covering roughly 200,000 acres, or about 10 times the size of Manhattan.
Many evacuees are having to stay in work camps, homes and temporary shelters around Alberta, which have limited supplies including food and gasoline.
Alberta’s provincial government announced the banning of fire and incendiary targets across the province to reduce the risks of more blazes as hot and dry weather persisted.
Pictures can’t begin to capture the scorched areas littered with debris and rubble, with communities devastated by a wildfire large and intense enough to be visible from space.
The wildfire is expected to continue on its path for the next several days.
While the cause of the fire remains unclear, a dangerous mix of extreme temperatures and bone-dry conditions had fueled the inferno.
Chad Morrison, a senior manager for wildfire prevention with Alberta Wildfire, said the fire didn't move as much Thursday as it did Wednesday.
Strong winds didn't help, but lower temperatures -- after two days of record heat -- and lower humidity did.