Article courtesy of Edmonton Journal, written by Paige Parsons and Emma Graney.
Firefighters try to save the oilsands city from a massive wildfire that has destroyed homes and businesses, and forced the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history.
Tens of thousands of people have fled north and south.
Fuelled by soaring temperatures that hit 32 C and tinder-dry forest, the fire broached the city limits and by 6:20 p.m. a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire city.
“Today has been a devastating day. We have had explosive fire conditions on the landscape brought on by extremely high temperatures” and low relative humidity, Bernie Schmitte, wildfire manager at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said Tuesday.