Canada wildfire forces mass evacuation in Fort McMurray

Baku, May 4, AZERTAC

The entire population of the Canadian city of Fort McMurray has been forced to evacuate because of a huge wildfire, according to BBC.

Some 80,000 people were told to leave as the blaze swept into the city, which is the gateway to the oil sands region.

Homes, petrol stations and a hotel are among the buildings destroyed in the city, in the province of Alberta.

There was gridlock on roads. Many fled north after flames forced the closure of the main road south. No casualties have been reported so far.

Around 100 firefighters are tackling the blaze, backed up by nine air tankers and more than a dozen helicopters, officials say. Reinforcements are on their way.

The fire started on Sunday south of Fort McMurray, some 380km (235 miles) north of the provincial capital, Edmonton.

Fire officials had the blaze contained until early Tuesday, when high temperatures and strong winds pushed the flames towards the city.

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