6,600 residents evacuate Canada’s Alberta amid spreading wildfire

(MENAFN) On Tuesday, local media reported that up to 6,600 residents in Alberta's western province of Canada have been evacuated due to a rapidly spreading wildfire. The evacuation order was issued by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which declared a state of local emergency in response to the escalating threat. Specifically, the evacuation order pertains to the neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Abasand, Prairie Creek, and Grayling Terrace, with additional evacuations taking place in several neighborhoods in Fort McMurray to facilitate firefighting efforts.

Residents within the evacuation zone were directed to leave by 4 p.m. Mountain Time (2200 GMT), as confirmed by the municipality. Jody Butz, the regional fire chief, indicated that the evacuation order could potentially affect up to 6,600 individuals residing in the affected areas. Reports described local roads and highways as congested with vehicles as residents sought safety by fleeing southward.

The situation reflects the broader wildfire crisis facing Canada, with a total of 134 fires actively burning nationwide on Tuesday, 43 of which were categorized as out of control, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center. Concerns have been heightened by above-normal temperatures across the country, further exacerbating wildfire risks as stated by the Canadian government.

The severity of the current wildfire season in Canada is underscored by the record-breaking devastation witnessed in 2023. According to the Canadian National Fire Database, a staggering 7,131 fires were recorded nationwide in 2023, consuming a record 17,203,625 hectares of land. These alarming statistics highlight the urgent need for coordinated efforts to mitigate the impact of wildfires and protect communities and ecosystems across Canada.



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