Fire near Fort McMurray grows to 9,600 hectares

The wildfire burning southwest of Fort McMurray is now just over 9,600 hectares in size, according to Alberta Wildfire. 

The fire is still considered out of control. A change in wind direction led to the fire’s growth, and it was active into the evening last night. 

The closest point of the fire is about 13 kilometres away from the Fort McMurray landfill, according to the latest update from Alberta Wildfire. It is also about 13 kilometres away from the intersection of Highways 63 and 881.

At 12:00 PM on Tuesday,  RMWB upgraded Prairie Creek, Abasand, Grayling Terrace, and Beacon Hill to a two-hour evacuation notice. This does not mean residents in those areas have to evacuate at this time, but they must be ready to go within two hours of instruction. This is because the fire is anticipated to expand closer to Fort McMurray today. 

Firefighting crews are working on building a containment line today. Heavy equipment will be working on a fire guard on the northern edge of the fire, while helicopters and air tankers will be dropping water on the active edges of the fire. 

70 firefighters and 14 helicopters are currently working on this fire. Evacuation alerts remain in effect for Fort McMurray, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation, Saprae Creek, and Anzac. 

Meanwhile, the wildfire that sparked yesterday near Fort Chipewyan is now considered ‘being held’ at 1.8 hectares in size. 

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