Fort McMurray: 90% of City Saved from Massive Wildfire
More than 90% of buildings in the evacuated city of Fort McMurray have survived the massive wildfire, Alberta’s provincial premier Rachel Notley said on a visit.
She said the hospital and most schools were intact but 2,400 out of 25,000 structures had been burnt.
“It was a miracle we got the entire population out safely,” Rachel Notley told reporters.
More than 80,000 people were evacuated from Fort McMurray last week.
Nobody was killed in the fire but two people died in a car crash when they were leaving the city.
Officials said they hoped to provide a schedule within two weeks for the return of residents.
Alberta government declared a state of emergency and promised C$100 million ($77 million) in cash to evacuees whose homes have been gutted.
According to officials, the battle to contain the wildfires reached a turning point on May 9 thanks to drizzle and favorable winds.
Premier Rachel Notley visited Fort McMurray for a first look at the destruction caused by the massive fire. She said she was “very much struck” by the power it had to cause devastation.
The wildfire covered 622 sq miles on May 8, Rachel Notley said, and was about 20-25 miles from the neighboring province, Saskatchewan.
The gas in Fort McMurray has been turned off and the power grid is damaged, while the water is not drinkable.
The team from the provincial government will begin preliminary planning on repairing damage in Fort McMurray.