Thursday, May 05, 2016

Canada steps up efforts to battle Alberta wildfire

Canada is responding at a nationwide level to fight the "catastrophic" wildfire in northern Alberta which caused the largest evacuation in the province's history, officials said Wednesday.

The wildfire raging through Fort McMurray has forced the entire city with over 88,000 residents to evacuate, destroyed 1,600 homes and buildings, and consumed more than 10,000 hectares, according to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

"As we start to move down the road with respect to recovery, understanding the scope of the recovery efforts that we have before us, we'll engage with the federal government, with the municipality, and we will ensure that the citizens of Fort McMurray and surrounding communities are supported as they all come together to get through this," said Notley.

Notley said a memo of understanding about support from the military focused on three elements: helicopter search and rescue for people caught or left behind the fire line in communities outside Fort McMurray, airlift of materials and personnel, such as firefighters, and, at a later point, the potential for ground support to assist in accessing the area to determine when it is safe for people to return.

The Alberta premier said she had all the powers she needed to deal with the catastrophe without declaring a state of emergency....

1 comment:

  1. Alberta wildfire: Emergency declared in Fort McMurray...

    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 say the fast-moving blaze could destroy much of the city.

    The fire, which broke out on Sunday in the heart on the country's oil sands region, has gutted 1,600 buildings, including a new school.

    The evacuation was largest-ever in Alberta. Oil companies operating in the area have been forced to cut output.

    Several firms have shut down some pipelines. This was done to help evacuate non-essential personnel, reports say, but oil facilities are not in the current path of the fire.

    So far there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, but two women gave birth in one evacuation centre, Reuters new agency reported......BBC


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