1,600 structures wrecked in Canada fire

Date published: Wednesday, 4th May 2016

A wildfire has brought "significant destruction" to the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, with 1,600 structures affected, the premier of the province of Alberta says.

Rachel Notley said the fire was still on the move, with more communities, including the airport area, in danger.

Fire services said the high winds and hot temperatures would make Wednesday an "even worse day" than Tuesday.

Some 88,000 residents have been evacuated, with no injuries reported.

The blaze broke out south-west of the city on Sunday. Firefighters appeared to have a measure of control by Tuesday until a drastic wind shift overwhelmed them.

'Come out stronger'

Ms Notley said that the fire had moved north and east across the city and that if the winds behaved as predicted, the blaze would move into the Thickwood and Timberlea communities, as well as the area around the airport.

Fire officials said the size of the blaze was now 7,500 hectares (29 sq miles) and it was being tackled by 100 firefighters, with efforts focused on downtown, the Gregoire area and the airport.

Wednesday would "again create explosive conditions", they said.


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