25 facts about the Fort McMurray wildfires
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Thursday, May 5, 2016, 10:33 AM - The uncontrolled wildfires continue to spread throughout Fort McMurray, Alta., here is the current situation summed up in 25 facts.
1. Fort McMurray, Alta., located 435 kilometers northeast of Edmonton - population of 125,000.
2. Best known as a hub for the oil sands industry.
3. Wildfires have been burning in the area since Sunday, May 1st 2016.
4. The blaze is at least 10,000 hectares and has destroyed more than 1,600 structures.
5. Approximately 88,000 people have been evacuated in the area.
6. More than 1,100 firefighters have been deployed in Alta.
7. Canadian military forces have deployed to support Alta. and first responders.
8. A total of 49 wildfires, 7 are currently out of control.
9. Two babies born in an evacuation camp.
10. Boil water advisory issued for entire region, including camps.
11. High levels of particulate matter are being released to help control the fires.
12. Tinder dry conditions and below seasonal precipitation over the past few months.
13. No immediate precipitation relief in the area, best chance for rain is Sunday into Monday.
14. 40-50k NW winds could spark fires in new areas.
15. Risk of lighting in the fire zone area.
16. Huge fire risk for Saskatchewan and Manitoba with record breaking high temperatures.
17. On average 2.3 million hectares across Canada burn each year.
18. In 2014, more than 51,000 forest fires burned over 4.5 million hectares.
19. In 2015, nearly 4 million hectares burned around 6,700 fires by early September.