Wildfire projected to slow in growth Wednesday

UPDATE: Another out-of-control wildfire has sparked three kilometres north of the Parsons Creek subdivision. At last report, it is about three hectares in size.

This fire was initially reported to be 10 kilometres away from Fort McMurray, but Alberta Wildfire confirmed with Harvard Media news that the fire is closer to the city than first reported.

That fire is located west of Highway 63 and north of Parsons Creek. Two wildland firefighting crews have responded to the blaze, along with two helicopters. Air tankers are on the way to assist. Alberta Wildfire has indicated there is no threat to the community at this time. 

Meanwhile, the wildfire burning southwest of Fort McMurray has expanded closer to the landfill and highway. 

As of 8:00 this morning, the fire is 4.5 kilometres from the Highways 63 and 881 intersection and 5.5 kilometres from the Fort McMurray landfill. 

Less than a millimetre of rain fell on the fire last night. Alberta Wildfire says active fire activity is expected today, but it should be less than yesterday, thanks to weaker wind conditions and cooler temperatures. 

Firefighters are back on the fire line today to assist in pushing the fire away from Fort McMurray and Highway 63. Helicopters and air tankers are continuing to drop water on active edges of the fire, and heavy equipment operators are building fire guards to the southwest of Fort McMurray. 

There are 117 firefighters and 21 helicopters currently assigned to the fire. 

Yesterday, evacuation orders were issued for  Prairie Creek, Beacon Hill, Abasand, and Grayling Terrace. Evacuation alerts are still in effect for the rest of Fort McMurray, Saprae Creek, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Anzac.

Crews are working on structure protection in the Prairie Creek and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods. Structure protection has been installed on the Rickards Landing Industrial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates, and Gregoire Lake 176. There are plans for structure protection along Amoco Road if required. 

According to Environment Canada, rain is in the forecast for the Fort McMurray region for the rest of the week and throughout the weekend. 

There are 45 active wildfires throughout the province, not including seven active mutual aid fires. 

Fort McMurray Forest area has seven active fires at the moment, not including a mutual aid fire in the far north of the region. Two of those fires are being held, and three are under control. 

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