Some residents in Fort McMurray have been on edge the past few days following a wildfire that has burned close to some homes.
“It was 100 feet from the row of houses on McKinlay crescent,” Fort McMurray resident Billy Martin said.
“You can see it from your house and that’s way too close for comfort,” Fort McMurray resident Dave Scantland added
Scantland lives on the north side of Fort McMurray where fire crews and helicopters have been battling a blaze that broke out Tuesday.
“Anybody with property around there, it’s making us nervous because you can see the flames,” Scantland said.
According to Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Fire Chief Jody Butz who posted a video online Thursday, he said this is one of five human caused fires this week that started in the region.
“The conditions that we are experiencing are extremely dry at the moment and the foliage has fallen from the trees creating above average wildfire risk in our region,” regional municipality of Wood Buffalo fire chief Jody Butz said.
Martin was working nearby when he spotted the flames.
“The winds picked up about two in the afternoon and it got pretty scary for a little bit, especially for the people on Walnut Crescent, McKinlay Crescent Morgan Heights area that is the same row of house that got burned in the 2016 fire,” Martin said.
Martin and Scantland both said the site of seeing a fire so close to homes brings back terrifying memories of the wildfire in 2016 that charred much of the region.
“A lot of us are traumatized over it and a lot of us have PTSD when we hear a chopper to regular duties,” Scantland said.
“I know of a couple people that packed up and evacuated out of precaution,” Martin said.
While crews have been able to contain the fire as of Saturday, cooler temperatures have led to heavy smoke.
“It got really smoky to the point where they actually closed a couple roads down, like no visibility,” Martin said.
Martin said conditions are not ideal but thankfully it’s nothing close to the devastation of 2016.
A frightful fire still keeping many residents on high alert.
“We have to look with our own eyes in order to determine the threat,” Scantland said.