The Fort McMurray wildfire was expected to double in size this weekend, and that may very well be the case.
Matt Anderson Provincial Fire Control Officer says the blaze is now 50 per cent bigger than was last reported.
“What we’re now looking at for the Horse River fire, it’s now estimated to be over 156,000 hectares and it is continuing to grow to the northeast,” says Anderson. “We’ve got 202 firefighters up there, 15 helicopters and 14 air tankers that are going to working in and around the community and with the municipality to protect some of the homes that weren’t affected. (We’re going to) get those prepared and guarded as best we can, along with the critical infrastructure.”
Anderson says no communities are threatened as a result of the direction this fire has taken.
The convoy of 500 vehicles from work camps north of Fort McMurray is set to resume, after being suspended for the night.
RCMP were supposed to brief the media about the situation on Highway 63, but had to cancel for a scary reason.
Corus Edmonton’s Brad Wisker was there, and says the fire came perilously close.
“Looking about 500 metres from me,” says Wisker. A huge plume of black and white smoke basically billowed out of the forest here. It is bad, it looks nasty, and it just goes to show that at any minute the fire could change direction and the wind can affect it.”
No word on when RCMP will be able to brief the media again.
Meanwhile, it’s hoped an additional four thousand evacuees trapped in camps north of Fort McMurray will also be airlifted out Saturday. (km/bw/bl)
— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) May 6, 2016