Fleeing from Fire

Wildfires in Alberta, Canada Threaten Neighboring Cities

The wildfire burning in Alberta, Canada (courtesy of The Chicago Tribune).

The wildfire burning in Alberta, Canada (courtesy of The Chicago Tribune).

Autumn Jenkins, Staff Writer

Beginning the evening of Saturday, May 7, a massive wildfire broke out in Alberta, Canada. Firefighters have been working tirelessly to gain control over the fiend, but the fire is no where near the the ideal size to be qualified as under control.

About 88,000 people fled from Fort McMurray, Alberta to avoid the ever-growing fires, according to TheGuardian. Many of the residents were directed to the south, but about 25,000 were directed to the north and are now stranded among work camps.

Officials say that the fires have grown by about 400,000 acres as of Sunday, May 8 and destroyed more than 1,600 structures, according to UsaToday. These forest fires concern officials because the fires could burn on for months. A good note of these fires: favorable winds seem to be venting the fires away from close cities, decreasing the growth rate. Light drizzles over the city and the cooler weather also contribute to the slowing of the fires.

Smoke inhalation has been a large problem caused by the fires. Air advisories have since been issued in numerous cities, such as Fort McMurray and Saskatchewan. Smoke has even been drifting south into the United States, entering states such as Iowa.

Officials who have visited the cities that were damaged believe it may be years before the towns are up and running again, according to BBC. No dates have been released yet for when residents can come home.

Despite the disaster, it has brought the country and the world closer together. Although Canada isn’t accepting international assistance, Russia, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have all offered endless assistance to the residents in need.