MEGA INFO POST • Fort McMurray Wildfire • 2,400 Buildings Destroyed • 88,000 Evacuated

📣 LAST UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION ON MONDAY, MAY 12 AT 2:00 AM
this post has been updated with the latest information 59 times

MOST EXPENSIVE DISASTER IN CANADIAN HISTORY
ESTIMATED INSURANCE CLAIMS COST OF $9 BILLION

ROUGHLY 2,400 HOMES AND BUSINESSES IN FORT MCMURRAY HAVE BEEN LOST DUE TO THIS DEVASTATING 220,000+ HECTARE FOREST FIRE.

Fort McMurray resembles hell on Earth, May 3rd & 4th, 2016
Fort McMurray resembles hell on Earth, May 3rd & 4th, 2016

LATEST UPDATE

MONDAY, MAY 12, 2:00AM

  • The number of buildings lost in the wildfire has grown from the prior 1,600, to is now roughly 2,400.
  • The wildfire has grown to over 220,000 hectares in size, and is roughly 25 to 30 km’s away from the Saskatchewan border.
  • The wildfire is no longer affecting areas near Fort McMurray, however the Government of Alberta will only be announcing when Fort McMurrayites can return home two weeks from today.
    • Sadly, it may be over a month yet before people can return home.
  • There are over 700 firefighters still fighting the blaze.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire was given the nickname “The Beast,” due to its sheer size and path of destruction.
  • The Canadian Red Cross has received over $67 million in donations.
    • The Alberta Government will be matching all donations to the Red Cross given by people residing in Alberta.
    • The Federal Government will be matching all individual donations given by Canadians.

// END OF MAY 12, 2:00AM UPDATE


UPDATE

MONDAY, MAY 9, 1:55AM
  • Fort McMurray had received a bit of rain yesterday (May 8) for several minutes of hope. Unfortunately, it was not remotely enough to extinguish a forest fire of this magnitude, but I’m sure it did help in settling the flames in some areas.
  • To those of you looking for information in regards to your homes in Fort McMurray, this information will be given to you as soon as possible. It is a long process, and it will take days for the assessments to be completed and sent your way.
  • Those of you with pets that have been left behind, it is being said that many of them are being cared for and you will be reunited with them in due time.
  • Those of you wanting to enter Fort McMurray to grab a few things, or otherwise, please know that the city is still under a mandatory evacuation, and you are not to enter the city by any means.
  • It is being said that the forest fire may now be affecting an area of over 161,000 hectares. This is a spread of much less than what was estimated to be over 200,000 hectares, so there is a bit of relief there.

// END OF MAY 9, 1:55AM UPDATE


UPDATE — FRIDAY, MAY 6, 4:00AM

QUICK NOTES ALBERTA UNDER STATE OF EMERGENCY // ALBERTA UNDER PROVINCE-WIDE FIRE BAN // WILDFIRE’S SIXTH CONSECUTIVE DAY // 1,100 FIREFIGHTERS FIGHTING // WILDFIRE STILL NOT ‘UNDER CONTROL’ // HELP FROM ACROSS THE PROVINCE & BEYOND IS HEARTWARMING // WILDFIRE IS roughly 85,000 HECTARES; LARGER THAN EDMONTON // EVACUEES NORTH OF FORT MCMURRAY MAY HEAD SOUTH LATER TODAY // FORT MCMURRAY WILDFIRE HAS BEEN MAKING GLOBAL HEADLINES // SHOW OF SUPPORT FROM ALBERTA BUSINESSES IS INCREDIBLE; OFFERING FREE ITEMS & COMMODITIES // two killed in accident on Highway 881 attempting to flee wildfire // FORT MCMURRAY WILDFIRE COULD BE COSTLIEST DISASTER IN CANADIAN HISTORY
  • On May 4th, Premier Rachel Notley announced that the entire province of Alberta is under State of Emergency.
  • On May 5th, a very rare announcement was made by the Alberta government and wildfire division stating that the entire province of Alberta is under a Fire Ban.
  • This forest fire began heading towards Fort McMurray on May 1st. As we now roll into the sixth consecutive day of this forest fire in and around Fort McMurray, things have not gotten any better.
  • I’d like to thank all of the first responders, officers, firefighters and everyone else that is in and around Fort McMurray right now assisting with the fight of these wildfires. There are currently over 1,110 firefighters in the area, battling day and night to get these wildfires under control.
  • As of this update, the wildfires are still not under control.
  • Hundreds upon hundreds of people from all across Alberta have taken it upon themselves to help those stranded on the highways toward Fort McMurray. The people of Chilliwack, BC have filled two massive transport trailers full of goods and began their trek into Alberta late last night.
  • The size of the wildfire has grown from roughly 7,500 hectares a couple of days ago, to what sits now at over 85,000 hectares. For comparison, it is in fact larger than the city of Edmonton itself.
  • The uproar of support from people across the province has been incredible. Tons of Albertans took it upon themselves to head into Fort McMurray with one purpose; to go into people’s homes, and rescue their animals (with permission, of course).
  • 75,000 people have joined the Facebook group created to help connect with the Fort McMurray evacuees. If you haven’t joined it already, you may do so here: Fort Mcmurray relocation help group
  • There are evacuees that are currently north of Fort McMurray, that need to evacuate again, this time heading south to Edmonton or beyond. The trouble at the time of this posting is, this was not possible Thursday evening due to the highway itself posing danger to drivers due to zero visibility and potential flames crossing the highway itself.
  • In the early morning hours, officers will be leading a convoy of 400 vehicles down southbound, with a helicopter flying above to make sure that the highway is clear ahead.
  • As is to be expected, being it that this is Alberta’s largest ever evacuation, news about the Fort McMurray wildfires has been making global headlines.
  • Hundreds of Albertan businesses located in Edmonton, Calgary, and everywhere in between have offered the Fort McMurray evacuees with free food, free rent, free storage, free medical drugs, and so much more.
  • Simply put, Fort McMurray needs rain, and badly.
  • On May 4th, two people have been killed in a tragic accident that occurred on Highway 881 at Range Road 94 near the Heart Lake First Nation between an SUV and a tractor trailer. One of those killed in the accident is 15 year old Emily Ryan; daughter of Cranley Ryan, a Wood Buffalo firefighter.
  • The wildfires in and around Fort McMurray very well may be THE COSTLIEST DISASTER IN CANADIAN HISTORY, at an estimated $9 BILLION in damages.

Stay safe out there, Alberta.

// END OF MAY 6, 4:00AM UPDATE


UPDATE MAY 4, 11:55 AM:  Roughly 100 firefighters from Ontario are headed to Fort McMurray to assist with fighting the flames. Thank you, Ontario firefighters!

This before & after photo comparison just absolutely breaks my heart:

Before and after comparison photos of a neighbourhood in Fort McMurray after the wildfire of 2016 (@smitty1966)
Before and after comparison photos of a neighbourhood in Fort McMurray after the wildfire of 2016 (@smitty1966)

Flights in and out of Fort McMurray have come to a halt:

Hours and hours later, traffic out of the Fort McMurray area is still moving at a crawl:

https://twitter.com/the_crafty_nerd/status/727917643546562561

// END UPDATE


MASSIVE UPDATE:

MAY 4, 10:49 AMThe wildfire is currently an estimated 7,500 hectares in size.
• Today’s fire fighting is expected to be WORSE than yesterday.
• They expect areas near the Fort McMurray airport to be troublesome later on this afternoon, with the status of the weather being that it’ll be 30 degrees Celsius in Fort McMurray today, with winds around 30 to 40 km/hr.
• Firefighters are currently focusing on Gregoire neighbourhood, airport area, and downtown Fort McMurray areas.
• Air transport and future requirements will be supported by the federal government.
• Northern Lights Regional Hospital in Fort McMurray successfully moved all 105 patients. All patients should be in Edmonton hospital care by noon today. The Fort McMurray hospital itself is still standing. Downtown Fort McMurray also untouched by the flames.
• Roughly 1,600 structures have been destroyed.

// END UPDATE


I JUST WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT HERE TO THANK ALL ALBERTANS, CANADIANS, AND PEOPLE ACROSS THE GLOBE WHO HAVE RESPONDED TO THIS TRAGEDY IN SUCH A WAY THAT IS HELPFUL TO OUR COMMUNITY.
I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THERE HAVE BEEN ZERO REPORTED CASUALTIES, AND ZERO MAJOR INJURIES DUE TO THE FIRES.

THOUSANDS OF ALBERTANS, CANADIANS, AND PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD HAVE DONATED TO RED CROSS TO HELP FORT MCMURRAY IN THIS DEVASTATING EVENT.
Donate to Redcross to help with the Fort McMurray wildfires
Donate to Redcross to help with the Fort McMurray wildfires
* SIMPLY TEXT “REDCROSS” TO 30333 TO DONATE $5.00. *
Parts of Fort McMurray are a total loss due to wildfires taking over
Parts of Fort McMurray are a total loss due to wildfires taking over
Vehicles and buildings are lost in the devastating Fort McMurray forest fires on May 3rd
Vehicles and buildings are lost in the devastating Fort McMurray forest fires on May 3rd

This Beacon Hill truck has been completely destroyed:

A Beacon Hill truck sits completely destroyed by the wildfires on May 3rd and 4th (via @bascaros)
A Beacon Hill truck sits completely destroyed by the wildfires on May 3rd and 4th (via @bascaros)

UPDATE – MAY 4, 8:02 AM: Good news. It is being reported that there are currently NO HOMES OR BUSINESS CURRENTLY ON FIRE in Fort McMurray.


LATEST UPDATE – MAY 4, 7:57 AM: This is (what we’re being told is) the Gregoire neighbourhood in Fort McMurray looks like this morning. Very eerie situation. Visibility is of course, very minimal:


UPDATE – MAY 4, 7:44 AM: Here are some photos taken by CBC Calgary’s Eyeopener of the Beacon Hill neighbourhood of Fort McMurray. Over 80% of the community is completely destroyed. 🙁

 

GOOD NEWS — EVERYONE has been evacuated from Fort McMurray safely throughout the night and into the morning.

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 4, 7:20 AM:

Buildings are still clearly on fire as seen in this video shot moments ago in Fort McMurray. The fire has spread to such a large area, it’ll take a long time for firefighters to address stand-alone buildings such as this one as they will more than likely focus on areas with dense housing.

ANOTHER ARTICLE:  Debate Storm Brewing Over Alberta Land Stewardship Act

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 4, 7:00 AM:

Here’s a look at the damage done to specific neighbourhoods in Fort McMurray as of 4 AM on May 4th:

List of Fort McMurray neighbourhoods affected by the wildfires on May 4th
List of Fort McMurray neighbourhoods affected by the wildfires on May 4th

Tons of vehicles are stranded on the sides of the highways on highways leaving Fort McMurray, as hundreds of people had run out of gas fleeing the wildfires. Unfortunately, all gas stations off of the highway have run out of gas.

GOOD NEWS — A fuel tanker has been escorted a little while back to get fuel to those stranded on the highway. Help is on the way, neighbours.

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 4, 6:52 AM — At least two babies were born safely during this time of devastation at the Noralta Lodges north of Fort McMurray. Welcome to the world, little ones!

// END UPDATE


IMPORTANT UPDATE – MAY 4, 6:29 AM — The Premier of Alberta; Rachel Notley will be on her way to Fort McMurray later today to assess the situation and speak with local council.

Prime Minister of Canada; Justin Trudeau says he will be providing any Government assistance to Fort McMurray that is required. Reportedly, Canadian army is on the way, but may take 1 to 2 days of travel to arrive.

This wildfire may take days to get under control. Those forced out by mandatory evacuation may have to stay away from their hometown for at least a full week, if not longer.

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 4, 5:29 AM — The latest update from the Regional Municipal of Wood Buffallo shows, unfortunately, many more homes have been affected by the wildfire:

Lastest update on Fort McMurray wildfire damage as of May 4 at 4am
Lastest update on Fort McMurray wildfire damage as of May 4 at 4am

There is no structural damage to the hospital at this time.

// END UPDATE


LATEST UPDATE – MAY 4, 3:43 AM — FORT MCMURRAY’S AIR QUALITY HEALTH INDEX IS CURRENTLY SITTING AT 297 POINTS. A DANGEROUSLY HIGH “EXTREME” ‘AQHI’ STARTS AT ONLY 10 POINTS.

Fort McMurray's Air Quality Health Index is an astonishing 297 points
Fort McMurray’s Air Quality Health Index is an astonishing 297 points

UPDATE – MAY 4, 3:10 AM — Here’s a look at the turnoff of Hwy 63 at Grassland right now. 40 minutes to travel 3 kilometers! Notice the long lineup of brake lights.

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 4, 2:38 AM — Highway 63 & Highway 881 Northbound towards Fort McMurray is CLOSED.

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 4, 12:22 AM — Huge line up for ETS (Edmonton Transit System) buses and ambulances await Fort McMurray evacuees to transport them into the City of Edmonton:

Thank you, City of Edmonton!

UPDATE – MAY 3, 11:48 PM — Here’s the latest update from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo:

 

Latest on the Fort McMurray Forest Fires at 11:30PM May 3rd
Latest on the Fort McMurray Forest Fires at 11:30PM May 3rd

UPDATE – MAY 3, 10:17 PM — According to the Wood Buffalo Fire Chief, Beacons Hill has suffered the loss of some homes, with half of Abasand properties being a total loss as well.

The good news for now is that there are NO REPORTED SERIOUS INJURIES. Thank goodness for that.

There are roughly 18,000 people headed to the City of Edmonton right now.


❤ Alberta — “The Province of Champions” ❤

Here’s a video of just ONE of the massive traffic lineups out of Fort McMurray earlier this evening:

Traffic is still a mess as of 10:55 PM on May 3rd.


Here is a time-lapse video of the forest fires in Wood Buffalo taken earlier today. Sadly, things have gotten a lot worse since this video:


Thank you to all those helping our own. Albertans, we are the province of champions:

https://twitter.com/loisquagmire/status/727710417770958851


UPDATE – MAY 3, 10:12 PM —

DO YOU NEED A PLACE TO STAY?

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 3, 10:06 PM — Fort McMurray had hit a high of 32.6 degrees today. A temperature that they could have gone without for the time being.

Also, latest information on weather forecast for tomorrow is that winds and temperatures will not play in our favor, as things will be dangerous for the spread of these fires throughout the night.

EVERYONE in Fort McMurray, PLEASE evacuate. Don’t try anything dangerous. Just leave the area.

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 3, 9:42 PM — Video captured of the Super 8 hotel in Gregoire burning to the ground… 🙁

Here’s a second video of the same Super 8:

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 3, 9:15 PM — This is the latest information on the Fort McMurray forest fires.

The Beacon Hill neighbourhood has suffered significant damage, whereas the Abasand, Wood Buffalo, Dickensfield and Waterways areas have suffered light damage as well.

Latest information 9:15pm on Fort Fires in Fort McMurray
Latest information 9:15pm on Fort Fires in Fort McMurray

// END UPDATE


UPDATE – MAY 3, 9:11 PM — Here’s a short video clip from someone evacuating Fort McMurray. It looks like a shot from a movie scene… Absolutely devastating:


UPDATE – MAY 3, 9:07 PM – Those heading north out of Fort McMurray, ATCO welcomes you to safety:

Those wanting to help our Fort McMurray neighbours by donating, the Canadian Red Cross has tweeted the necessary information here:

// END UPDATE


What is being said to be Alberta’s largest ever evacuation; the ENTIRE city of Fort McMurray and area is currently under MANDATORY evacuation notice as of 6:20 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016.

This frightening photo looks like a scene coming straight out of a movie, but in reality, it is our neighbours in the north fleeing from an incredibly dangerous and scary situation:

Here’s a devastating tweet from someone loosing their childhood home:

Kat Dee on Facebook shared this photo and wrote the following:
Fort McMurray forest fires are dangerously close to homes
Fort McMurray forest fires are dangerously close to homes

Thank you to everyone fighting to keep our homes. This is scary. We’re stuck in traffic. All of the gas stations are out of gas. There’s only one way out and that’s north. Thank you for the love and prayers from everyone. We’re stuck in traffic. Please people stop cutting people off be courteous !!! And patient . Remain calmKat Dee

Here’s another photo taken by CBC:

Frightening photo of forest fires in Fort McMurray
Frightening photo of forest fires in Fort McMurray

The following is from Alberta Emergency Alert:

All of Fort McMurray is under a mandatory evacuation order including Saprae Creek. The Reception Centre at MacDonald Island is being evacuated to the Anzac Recreation Centre. The Fort McMurray International Airport remains open at this time.

All residents should go south to the Anzac Recreation Centre. Follow the directions of local authorities. Seek medical attention if you experience breathing difficulties.


The regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is asking all evacuated residents to email wildfire@rmwb.ca with your names, locations and confirmation of safety.

We’ve got two entire provinces (Alberta & Saskatchewan) under extreme fire danger.

Western Canada is currently all under extreme fire hazard notice
Western Canada is currently all under extreme fire hazard notice

Traffic out of Fort McMurray was at a near stand still all evening and into the night:

Traffic out of Fort McMurray was at a near stand still on May 3rd due to forest fire evacuations
Traffic out of Fort McMurray was at a near stand still on May 3rd due to forest fire evacuations

Edmonton’s Catholic Schools has kindly offered to keep 90 of their schools open to assist with Fort McMurray evacuees. Thank you, Edmonton Catholic Schools.


Edmonton firefighters have headed to the Fort McMurray area to assist with the wildfires endangering the city and its people. Thank you, Edmonton firefighters!!


Telus Canada is waiving all additional service charges to those being affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires:

Thank you, Telus.


Here’s a frightening look at what Fort McMurray looks like from up above:

Here’s a second photo of Fort McMurray from 25,000 feet above ground:

 

STORY CONTINUES BELOW
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
Unreal photo of the forest fires in Fort McMurray from above
Unreal photo of the forest fires in Fort McMurray from above

LET EVERYONE KNOW – Northlands in Edmonton provides place for thousands of the Fort McMurray evacuees:

Northlands and City of Edmonton provide a place for the Fort McMurray Evacuees
Northlands and City of Edmonton provide a place for the Fort McMurray Evacuees

Tons of Edmontonians are offering their homes to these evacuees as well. Thank you for being incredible, Edmontonians and Albertans alike.


18,457 VIEWS
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22 COMMENTS


❤ STAY SAFE OUT THERE, ALBERTA ❤

Jody Mitoma

Founder of Edmonton Talks News.

22 COMMENTS

  • May 3, 2016 at 10:01 PM
    Permalink

    Ryan Stepchuk

    (0)
    Reply
  • May 3, 2016 at 10:40 PM
    Permalink

    Wow! That hasn’t hit the news here.. are you guys in any danger?

    (0)
    Reply
    • May 3, 2016 at 10:46 PM
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      The City of Edmonton is in zero danger. Parts of the City of Fort McMurray are currently engulfed in flames… 🙁

      (0)
      Reply
  • May 3, 2016 at 10:44 PM
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    Andrea Han

    (0)
    Reply
  • May 3, 2016 at 10:56 PM
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    Friends and Family in Fort McMurray, please mark yourself as “safe” on Facebook, and with officials; by email ( wildfire@rmwb.ca with your name, location and confirmation of safety)

    (0)
    Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 12:29 AM
    Permalink

    Where was the fire break? Who studied the wildfire/ urban risk factors? Where there back fire zones defined as contingency measures? Something isn’t right here. Someone made a decision to not study the risks that are measurable : fuel plus heat = fire risk. Risk reduction: fire breaks, back fire areas, water bombers, etc

    Somebody decided not to make an investment to reduce wild/fire urban interface risk.

    (0)
    Reply
    • May 4, 2016 at 6:50 AM
      Permalink

      The fire crews were out making fire breaks, and water bombing, plus pulling in resources from neighboring communities, but it wasn’t enough due to extremely high winds and drought conditions.

      (0)
      Reply
    • May 4, 2016 at 7:21 AM
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      Fire breaks are well cleared in advance and yearly maintained. Emergency fire breaks are a desperate measure

      (0)
      Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 12:31 AM
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    After Sylvan Lake burned didn’t someone ask, “can this threat happen in other towns?”

    (0)
    Reply
    • May 4, 2016 at 6:00 AM
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      Ya after notley cut firefighting costs

      (0)
      Reply
    • May 4, 2016 at 6:19 AM
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      Gosh I didn’t know Notley had been around for decades. The lack of emergency services started with gambler / Alzheimer premier Klien. Nice touch trying to blame the disaster on Notey. Gotta admire someone so blinded by hate and rage.

      (0)
      Reply
    • May 4, 2016 at 6:52 AM
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      The NDP haven’t made many cuts, in fact they’ve boosted funding in a lot of sectors after the conservatives heyday budget cuts in previous years.

      (0)
      Reply
    • May 4, 2016 at 11:44 PM
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      Dawn L. Fedyck – Cuts re. fire budget not in effect before August 2016

      (0)
      Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 6:40 AM
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    My.prayers are with you all xox

    (0)
    Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 12:20 PM
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    And Justin bublin Trudeau comes on the news this morning laughing and joking saying oh they can have what ever they need. Get in fuckin gear Trudeau never mind pass the buck do your job as chief and commander and send men and equipment, food and shelter right fucken now!!invade that godam fire right now! You’re not on a talk show with pretty little girls, now is the time to do your job and act! Or get the hell out of the way

    (0)
    Reply
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