UPDATE: For the very latest information on the Fort McMurray wildfire, including which communities are under evacuation order follow this link.
All of Fort McMurray is under a mandatory evacuation order Tuesday evening, including MacDonald Island, as a massive wildfire burns in the community.
Upwards of 53,000 residents of the northern Alberta community have been forced to leave. Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday this is one of the largest fire-related evacuations in Alberta’s history.
Andrew Fleming, an engineering firm employee who lives in Fort McMurray, told Global News Tuesday evening he was not expecting an evacuation order when he went to work in the morning and that there has been some confusion as to where evacuees are supposed to go.
“I got home from work around 12:30 p.m. today and there was not much sign of anything happening,” he said. “I heard after that was that the majority of town was being evacuated and we had to head north. I was waiting for another update on that but unfortunately nothing came except for ‘head north’ – now we’re being directed to head south. So I’m not sure if anything else is changing, I’m not sure if we’re able to turn around and head north but right now I’m just following the directions of our RCMP officers on the scene and heading south.”
“Traffic is almost at a complete standstill. A lot of people are doing some very dangerous stuff on the road – people are driving very erratically.”
Several residents fleeing the evacuation zones took to social media to share their frightening experiences Tuesday afternoon.