Alberta’s Wildfire Officer, Barry Shellian, has revealed that even though the firefighters are working hard and trying to bring “The Beast” under control, the weather could prove troublesome over the weekend as the temperatures rise and the blaze grows.
According to Shellian, “last few days we had cloud over the McMurray fire which has really kept, until now, the behaviour down.” Shellian explained that “now we’re getting some blue skies and increasing temperature, and we have seen some significant growth in the northeast portion of that fire.” Furthermore, Shellian stated that fire has already grown to 241,457 hectares in size and it’s just about 15 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border. However, Shellian assured that if the fire crosses the border, firefighters will be there waiting for it. It was explained that “we’re always looking at where the fire is going.” He added that “we’re working on the flanks, continuing building our dozer guards, and of course having those discussions with the Saskatchewan firefighters on management of this wildfire.”
Meanwhile Municipal Affairs Minister, Danielle Larivee, has assured that a team is already working around the clock to get Fort McMurray ready for evacuees to return. According to Larivee, crews are working to get the critical infrastructure repaired. She revealed that “adequate healthcare for the community, we need to make sure grocery stores are up and running, we need to make sure everybody has access to safe electricity and gas lines,” adding that “and certainly we’re looking at the best way to get people back into the community as soon as possible.”
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