Fort McMurray wildfire now classified as under control

Click to play video: 'Evacuation order lifted for residents of Fort McMurray'
Evacuation order lifted for residents of Fort McMurray
WATCH ABOVE (May 18, 2024): Residents who were evacuated from communities in Fort McMurray, Alta., are being allowed to return home Saturday. While a nearby wildfire is still classified as out of control, officials say crews have made significant progress on the blaze. Erik Bay has the details – May 18, 2024

A wildfire near Fort McMurray is now under control.

Alberta Wildfire said in an update on Tuesday morning that this means the wildfire is contained and will be extinguished.

“Thank you to all the firefighters and support staff who have worked hard over the past few weeks to get this fire under control,” Alberta Wildfire said.

“There were many challenging days and long hours but it’s rewarding to see this wildfire has been updated to under control.”

There is still work to do for the wildfire to be extinguished, but Alberta Wildfire said its firefighters “are up for the challenge.”

Alberta Wildfire said there are still 151 firefighters and 15 helicopters assigned to the wildfire, which remains at 18,593 hectares in size.

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“Although this fire is contained, crews will still be on the fireline looking for and extinguishing any remaining hotspots within the perimeter. There is minimal ground fire that crews will need to extinguish,” the agency explained.

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The closest point of the wildfire is about 5.5 kilometres from the Fort McMurray landfill and about 4.5 kilometres from the intersection of highways 63 and 881.

Click to play video: 'Alberta Wildfire video shows overnight helicopter firefighting efforts'
Alberta Wildfire video shows overnight helicopter firefighting efforts

The wildfire was detected on May 9 and forced about 6,600 Fort McMurray residents from their homes for several days earlier this month.

On Tuesday, May 14, an evacuation order was issued for the neighbourhoods of Beacon Hill, Abasand, Prairie Creek and Grayling Terrace. Residents were allowed to return home on Saturday, May 18.

The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.

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The wildfire danger within the Fort McMurray Forest Area is high in the region south of Lake Athabasca and very high north of Lake Athabasca.

The temperature in the area is expected to reach around 23 C on Tuesday, with winds out of the southwest gusting to about 30 km/h at times.

Since Jan. 1, Alberta Wildfire said there have been 27 wildfires in the Fort McMurray Forest Area that have burned more than 26,000 hectares of land.

For the latest information on which areas in Alberta are under an evacuation alert or order due to a wildfire, visit the Alberta Emergency Alert website.

For the latest information on the wildfire status and danger across the province, visit the Alberta Wildfire website.

The latest information on fire advisories, restrictions and bans across the province can be found on the Alberta fire bans website.

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