Parts of downtown Fort McMurray in northern Alberta are under an evacuation notice as a wildfire whipped by winds rages in the community.
Earlier, residents of several Fort McMurray neighbourhoods were ordered to flee and a trailer park that was evacuated earlier in the week is reported to be burning.
Global National reporter Reid Fiest is on the ground in Fort McMurray as the wildfire situation intensified Tuesday afternoon.
The wildfire more than doubled in size Monday evening, reaching 2,600 hectares and fire crews warned Tuesday’s weather conditions will likely be the greatest challenge yet.
An inversion was holding the smoke close to the ground Tuesday morning, which created less smoke. But that lifted in the early afternoon, when smoke and flames flooded the sky again.
“The fire conditions are extreme,” Darby Allen, regional fire chief for the Wood Buffalo municipality, said during an 11 a.m. update Tuesday, talking about how the fire will “wake up.”
“The humidity levels are going to be decreased quicker because the ambient temperature is hotter, so that means the fire will be able to go more ferociously and quicker than in days previously.”
A state of local emergency remained in effect Tuesday and Centennial Trailer Park was still under a mandatory evacuation.
— Reid Fiest (@ReidFiest) May 3, 2016
A fire restriction was put in place Tuesday afternoon for all of Alberta’s Forest Protection Areas. The fire restriction prohibits all open fires, including campfires on private land, backcountry areas and camping areas. Safe wood campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds.
All fire permits are suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued.
The fire danger was listed as either very high or extreme throughout the majority of Alberta Tuesday afternoon.