Wildfire Evacuation Alerts Issued for Canadian Oil Sands Hub

image is BloomburgMedia_SDBJ31T0G1KW00_12-05-2024_18-37-42_638510688000000000.jpg

Steam rises from the Syncrude Canada Ltd. upgrader plant in this aerial photograph taken above the Athabasca oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. While the upfront spending on a mine tends to be costlier than developing more common oil-sands wells, their decades-long lifespans can make them lucrative in the future for companies willing to wait. Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg

Fort McMurray, hub of Canada’s oil-sands operations, is under an evacuation alert as an out-of-control fire rages about 16 kilometers (10 miles) southwest of the Alberta town.

“The wildfire danger is extreme in the Fort McMurray Forest Area,” according to a notice from the Alberta government posted at 9 p.m. on Friday. Strong winds are expected on Saturday as a cold front passes over the region, potentially fanning the flames further. 

About 70,000 residents of Fort McMurray are being advised to be ready to leave on short notice. Hundreds more in the nearby Saprea Creek Estates are under the same alert from the municipality of Wood Buffalo.  

Massive fires burned down swathes of Fort McMurray eight years ago, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate and temporarily shutting more than 1 million barrels a day of oil production.   

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Chunzi Xu


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