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Massive Alberta wildfire forces more evacuations

Date published: Thursday, 5th May 2016

The fire has spread south from Fort McMurray

A massive wildfire in Alberta, Canada has moved south, forcing more evacuations on Thursday.

It has grown five times its initial size since it broke out, prompting more than 88,000 evacuations.

The fire started on Sunday in Canada's oil sands region and many oil sands projects have cut production.

The emergency operations centre has moved 300 km south and the evacuation order has widened as the flames spread past Fort McMurray.

There are still no known causalities from the fire but there was at least one vehicle crash with fatalities on the evacuation route.

Cooler temperatures and rain are forecast, giving hope that it could become easier to contain the fire.

Officials had to made a make-shift emergency operations centre twice on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The blaze grew close to the local airport on Thursday, with the CBC reporting that some buildings have been destroyed, but the main terminal is still intact. All flights are cancelled.

On Wednesday evening, thousands stayed in arenas, hockey rinks and school gymnasiums, some with little food and other resources.

'It just doesn't seem real': Fort McMurray residents flee their homes.

Authorities in Alberta have called the fire "catastrophic".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that the federal government will match donations to the Canadian Red Cross to assist those affected by the fire.

"The outpouring of good will and compassion from Canadians right across the country has not only been inspirational, it has been entirely characteristic of who we are and the fundamental human values we share as Canadians," Mr Trudeau said.

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