Alberta’s premier has given an update on the inferno that’s engulfed the area around Fort McMurray; saying there’s no relief in sight for first responders, and the people who’ve fled the blaze.
As first responders rush to the fires, Premier Rachel Notley says 80,000 people have headed the other way for safety since Tuesday.
She says the fire has now grown to 85,000 hectares.
“To put it in context somewhat, in 2011 in that area there was a 600,000 hectare fire. So this is a large fire, but we have dealt with them. The key issue is ensuring that we protect infrastructure and the community.”
To give an idea how fast it’s spreading, at this time yesterday it was only 10,000 hectares.
Over 200 firefighters and numerous fire engines are in Fort McMurray right now protecting critical infrastructure.
— RCMP Alberta (@RCMPAlberta) May 5, 2016
Alberta fire official Chad Morrison says strong winds have driven the flames and caused the fire to explode in size.
Morrison says there will likely be no let up today.
He says yesterday winds as high as 70-kilometres an hour drove the flames South.
Water bombers are dropping their loads on neighbourhoods in an effort to save homes and critical infrastructure.
The province will begin airlifting thousands of evacuees who fled North from Fort McMurray and fly them to Edmonton.