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Edmonton taking in Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees, St. Albert on standby

The wildfire threatening Fort McMurray is now nearly 21,000 hectares in size, and at least 6,600 residents have evacuated.
Smoke billows above Highway 63 south of Fort McMurray on Tuesday. MAT LUMLEY/Supplied to Lakeland Today

The City of Edmonton began accepting evacuees at the Clareview Community Recreation Centre at 9:00 p.m. last night, and as of noon on Wednesday is still able to help those who fled.

The City of St. Albert says its ready to support wildfire evacuees if called upon by the provincial government.

At least 6,600 Fort McMurray residents were ordered to evacuate yesterday afternoon due to a wildfire encroaching on the city limits, and many others reportedly evacuated without official orders to.

Evacuees were first sent to Lac La Biche, before then being told to go to Cold Lake once Lac La Biche reached capacity.

City of St. Albert spokesperson Marci Ng said in an email that the city has not received any evacuees yet, but is ready to help if needed.

“The city is ready to support communities in their time of need and will activate its Emergency Coordination Centre, upon request by the Province of Alberta,” Ng said.

Alberta Wildfire officials told reporters on Wednesday morning that the fire threatening Fort McMurray grew to nearly 21,000 hectares in size on Tuesday, and is now just under six kilometres southwest from the municipality's landfill.

Over 100 firefighters are fighting the blaze, along with 14 helicopters.

Last summer St. Albert welcomed almost 800 evacuees from the Northwest Territories when multiple wildfires threatened Yellowknife, Hay River, and other communities.

For more information about the Fort McMurray fire, including latest updates, visit the Alberta Wildfire website.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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