[Environment] DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : COUNTRIES: CANADA : TOURISM AND TRAVEL: Fort McMurray: Fire Could Double in Size, Canadian Official Says

 

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DISASTERS: FIRE : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

COUNTRIES: CANADA :

TOURISM AND TRAVEL:

Fort McMurray: Fire Could Double in Size, Canadian Official Says

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Fort McMurray: Fire Could Double in Size, Canadian Official Says

By Michael Pearson and Steve Almasy,

CNN

Updated 10:41 PM ET, Fri May 6, 2016

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/06/americas/fort-mcmurray-fire-canada/

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(CNN)The Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada is massive. And it could get a lot worse.

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Dry, windy conditions are fueling the blaze, which has already raged over 1,010 square kilometers (389 square miles). By Saturday, it might be twice as big.

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“It’s extremely dry out there. Wind continues to push from the southwest, to push the fire to the northeast into the forested areas,” Alberta Wildfire official Chad Morrison said Friday afternoon. “There is a high potential that this fire could double in size by the end of the day tomorrow.”

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The monster fire — which is the size of Hong Kong and is almost 25% bigger than New York City — has displaced about 88,000 people and wiped out 1,600 structures.

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The city of Fort McMurray has been devastated, damage witnessed by thousands of people who drove through Friday in evacuee convoys headed to Edmonton and other cities. More than 1,200 vehicles headed south down Highway 63, the lone road open for people relocating to emergency shelters and the homes of friends or family.

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The convoys will continue as long as it’s safe to run them, which for about an hour on Friday it wasn’t.

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One of the fleeing residents told CNN near Fort McMurray that the past few days have been like “hell on Earth. Just like hell.”

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Other residents had already made it to safety at the Edmonton Expo Centre.
Morgan Elliott and fianc Cara Kennedy fled first to the Syncrude oil sands camp north of Fort McMurray with their baby, Abigail, but not much else. Then Friday it was time to try for Edmonton.

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What they saw along the way was jaw-dropping.

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“It was something like Armageddon,” Elliott says. “Everything was burnt, houses gone. Leaving the city, it was like a scene out of a movie. It reminded me of the TV show ‘The Walking Dead’ where you’re going on the highway, and there’s just abandoned vehicles everywhere; hundreds of cars, just abandoned vehicles.”

Edmonton resident Bill Glynn, who was working in Fort McMurray when the fire broke out, was in a convoy and told the Edmonton Journal newspaper that the scene was “like a war zone.”

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“There were times you came over the hill and you couldn’t see anything and just hoped the person ahead knew what they were doing,” the newspaper quoted Glynn as saying.

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“It’s extremely dry out there. Wind continues to push from the southwest, to push the fire to the northeast into the forested areas,” Alberta Wildfire official Chad Morrison said Friday afternoon. “There is a high potential that this fire could double in size by the end of the day tomorrow.”

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Canadian military helicopters hovered overhead to look out for smoke and flames along the evacuation route, while emergency gas stations were set up to keep the convoy moving.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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