Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

High temperatures and gusting winds are helping expand the Fort McMurray forest fire, creating a situation where the "out of control" blaze that has forced the evacuation of more than 80,000 people could possible double in size on Saturday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says.

"In no way is this fire under control," Ms. Notley told a Saturday afternoon briefing in Edmonton. "The Fort McMurray wall of fire is still burning out of control."

That's despite the efforts of about 500 firefighters, backed by tools that include 15 helicopters and 14 air tankers, who have managed to save downtown Fort McMurray, said Ms. Notley.

Story continues below advertisement

As of late Friday night, said Ms. Notley, about 156,000 hectares was in flames though she noted the fire is burning to the northeast and way from the northern Alberta community.

But she said conditions will be bad Saturday for fighting the blaze as temperatures hit the high twenties and winds gust up to 40 kilometres per hour. "In these conditions, officials tell us the fire may double in size in the forested areas today."

Ms. Notley said Ontario, Quebec, the Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have provided firefighters, equipment and other firefighting aid.

She said the fire is affecting energy operations in the region with Suncor having evacuated staff from operations as a key site faces the possibility of the fire burning to its perimeter. Syncrude is also clearing out a regional operation.

Ms. Notley said she expected a more detailed assessment on Monday of the impact on the sector.

Chad Morrison, a representative of Alberta Wildfire, told the briefing in Edmonton that said there was some good news:  The fire is moving away from the community, and cooler weather may open the prospect of a helpful shower.

But, he warned, "we need heavy rain. Showers won't be enough."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Morrison said showers elsewhere in Alberta may quell wildfires, freeing up firefighters to redeploy to the Fort McMurray fire.

Scott Long, executive director of provincial operations for the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said firefighters in Fort McMurray have "held the line," protecting critical infrastructure in the city such as its water-treatment plant, the electrical grid, and downtown core including the city hospital.

"Other than some smoke damage, which will take awhile to clean up, it's still intact," said Mr. Long, referring to the hospital.

"Right now, we're fairly confident that the critical infrastructure in Fort McMurray, we're holding the line."

He said a more detailed damage assessment will come after the situation stabilizes.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies