Massive fire in Alberta rages

By Land Line staff | Thursday, May 05, 2016

In Canada, it’s being called the biggest evacuation in the history of the country. The huge fire at Fort McMurray, Alberta, has forced evacuation of all 88,000 residents and destroyed 1,600 buildings including a new school. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

The challenge for relief agencies is finding temporary shelter and food for the evacuees. The Edmonton Journal reports that the city of Edmonton, 200 miles to the south, has set up cots and showers, counseling and medical help, child care and an indoor playground in response to the need.

Tamisan Bencz-Knight of the Edmonton Food Bank says local trucking companies like Rosenau Transport Ltd., are pitching in.

Fort McMurray is in the middle of Alberta’s oil sands country, meaning a lot of truckers haul oil-related loads in the area.

A police officer who normally patrols the city told reporter that, by his estimate, about half of Fort McMurray has been destroyed.

The Edmonton Journal reported Thursday that an analyst at BMO Capital Markets estimates that insured property losses from the Fort McMurray wildfires are likely to be between $2.6 billion and $4.7 billion.

Land Line Now News Anchor Reed Black contributed to this article.

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