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Fire Chief Darby Allen: “Beacon hill appears to be lost.”

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Fire Chief Darby Allen: "Beacon hill appears to be lost."

Photo of smoke cloud from the air on May 3, 2016 // Photo Courtesy J.D. Lewis

As of 6:20 p.m. Tuesday night, all of Fort McMurray is under a mandatory evacuation order, including MacDonald Island Park.

Residents in all areas north of Gregoire must evacuate north to the Noralta Lodge 21 km north of Fort McMurray. To get to the lodge, take Highway 63 to the Suncor exit and follow the signs.

Evacuees are instructed to await further instructions when they arrive at Noralta Lodge.

In addition, all lanes north of Fort McMurray on Highway 63 are now running northbound to relieve congestion.

UPDATE (8:00 p.m.):

The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) has successfully evacuated all of its patients.

Fort McKay Metis are setting up makeshift shelters for displaced Fort McMurray residents.

The Canadian Red Cross has set up a fund for Fort McMurray residents, which can be accessed here

UPDATE (8:30 p.m.):

An updated Alberta Emergency Alert has just been issued saying that the reception centre at MacDonald Island Park is being transferred south to the Anzac Recreation Centre. The Fort McMurray International Airport remains open at this time.

All residents still in Fort McMurray are also instructed to go to the Anzac Recreation Centre.

UPDATE (10:00 p.m.):

A press conference at 10 p.m. has provided some new facts and statistics about the wildfire raging in Fort McMurray.

  • No serious injuries or fatalities at this time
  • Officials are uncertain how many properties have been damaged
  • The fire has now crossed the Clearwater river
  • There is no more fuel in Fort McMurray, Wandering River or Grasslands
  • The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre has not sustained any damage
  • The main priorities for firefighting crews are preservation of life and infrastructure, particularly the bridges over the Athabasca River; and Hwy 63
  • Officials are saying that the worst of the fire is not over
  • 150 firefighters are currently assigned to the fire, including many from across Alberta
  • More firefighters from across Canada are being called in to assist with efforts, with 70-80 expected to arrive Tuesday night or Wednesday morning
  • An explosion occurred at the Flying J gas station at the top of Beacon Hill
  • Several grocery stores in Fort McMurray have volunteered food and other essential items for evacuees and officials are working on a plan to collect and distribute those supplies
  • Assistance from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is approximately two days away
  • 17,000 residents have evacuated north of Fort McMurray
  • 8,000 residents have evacuated south to Anzac
  • 9,000 residents are evacuating to Lac La Biche
  • 18,000 residents are evacuating towards Edmonton
  • Approximately half of all properties in Abasands have been lost to the fire
  • Some homes in Dickinsfield were lost
  • Provisions of food, water and fuel to critical areas will be a priority in the next 12-24 hours

Mix News will bring you updates on the wildfire situation as they become available.

* Photo Courtesy JD Lewis

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