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U.S. NEWSWednesday 18 May 2016

Alberta reviews re-entry plan as flames spread north

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta          A burned building stands among charred rubble in the neighborhood of Abasand in wildfire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta, on
(AP) — Canadian officials       Friday, May 13, 2016. 
said Tuesday they are tak-
ing a second look at their                                                                                                                                                                           Associated Press
plan to allow people to re-
turn home to Fort McMur-        come back in because           would be on protecting        That includes areas already    ed to work camps further
ray after a raging wildfire     we want to make sure it’s      other the camps north of      burned and currently burn-     north.
spread north toward oil         safe.”                         Fort McMurray.                ing. About 2,400 structures    It stressed there has been
sands plants.                   In recent days, oil sands      “We expect fire growth in     were destroyed in Fort Mc-     no damage to Suncor in-
Alberta Premier Rachel          workers were moved back        the area of many of these     Murray, but 90 percent of      frastructure.
Notley told a news confer-      up north to begin ramping      camps today,” she said.       the city remains intact, in-   “Suncor has enhanced fire
ence in Edmonton Tuesday        up production again. But       “Weather conditions will      cluding essential infrastruc-  mitigation and protection
that the fire overnight de-     now the evacuation zone,       make this work extremely      ture like the hospital, water  around all of its facilities,”
stroyed a 665-room work         stretching about 30 miles      challenging. Westerly winds   treatment plant and the        said the release. “When it is
camp north of the city          (50 kilometers) north of Fort  will push the fire closer to  airport.                       safe to do so, we will con-
and two other camps are         McMurray to just south of      Suncor and Syncrude, but      Suncor, Canada’s largest       tinue implementing our re-
threatened. About 8,000         Fort MacKay, included the      we expect very high resil-    oil company, said in news      start plans.”
workers at oil camps north      major Syncrude and Sun-        iency with both of those fa-  release that it had “started   High winds and higher tem-
of Fort McMurray were or-       cor facilities, along with     cilities.”                    a staged and orderly shut-     peratures have spurred the
dered to evacuate late          several smaller operations.    The wildfire has grown to     down of our base plant op-     quickly spreading wildfire
Monday.                         Notley said the focus of       about 1,350 square miles      erations” and that person-     as tinder-dry conditions
Notley hopes to an-             firefighting efforts Tuesday   (3,550 square kilometers).    nel were being transport-      persist in the region.q
nounce within the week
when evacuees from Fort
McMurray can return.
About 80,000 Fort McMur-
ray residents were forced
to evacuate nearly two
weeks ago.
“Safety will be and must be
our first and principle prior-
ity,” Notley said.
She said conditions in Fort
McMurray remain hazard-
ous, with poor air quality
from all the smoke a major
concern. Two explosions
on Monday night in Fort
McMurray damaged 10
homes, Notley said.
Notley said the explosions
are examples of what can
happen when a city the
size of Fort McMurray is be-
ing brought back online.
Officials said the explosions
are being investigated.
“When you start turning
on a switch ... in a city of
90,000 people, sometimes
stuff happens,” Notley said.
“What those two incidents
last night demonstrated to
us is that’s the right way to
go, that we need to make
sure we’ve got everything
cued up before people
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