QUEBEC — Most of the 100,000 residents of the Canadian city of Fort McMurray were ordered to leave town late Tuesday as a fire swept through the oil sands region, in Alberta province`s largest ever evacuation.
The 2,650-hectare fire, which emerged on May 1, forced the closure of the main southern exit from the city, prompting residents to head north towards oil sands camps.
The fire, which was contained until Monday south of Fort McMurray, was pushed toward the city by winds and quickly reached homes, helped by a drought in Alberta.
“All of Fort McMurray is under a mandatory evacuation order,” Alberta emergency services announced, after previously indicating that the northern edge of the fire was “growing rapidly.”
Authorities are racing to evacuate tens of thousands of people — the largest evacuation in the province’s history — and have appealed for help from other parts of the country to fight the fire and airlift people from the city.
Gas stations exploded and several homes have already been burnt down, including one of the town`s many motor home parks, according to local media.
The airport was still open.
“Be patient, drive safely and please give way to emergency vehicles,” an evacuation notice read.
The air was thick with black smoke.
Long lines of cars headed north via the main highway of the city, while flames ravaged the embankment on the side of the road. Police closed the southward lanes.
“Seek medical attention if you experience breathing difficulties,” emergency services said.
“I know that it`s a very scary time,” Notley told a press conference. “I know it`s a very, very stressful time for people to have to leave their homes under these conditions.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had called Notley to offer government aid to the province.
“My thoughts are with people affected by the fire in Fort McMurray tonight. Stay safe and remember to follow evacuation orders,” he tweeted.
“We stand ready to help.”
A more limited alert earlier saw authorities evacuate 30,000 people.
Govt to present its policies and programmes Monday
KATHMANDU — The government is preparing to present its policies and programs for the fiscal year 2018/19 at the Federal Parliament on Monday.
According to Joint Spokesperson at the Federal Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal, all preparations are over for the release of the government policies and programs to be made by the President Bidya Devi Bhandari from New Baneshwor-based Federal Parliament Building at 4:00 pm Monday.
President Bhandari would unveil the government policies and programs for the first time in the joint meeting of the Federal Parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution.
As per the constitution, the President can address any of the House meeting or the joint meeting of the Federal Parliaments and summon the lawmakers for their presence.
Vice President, top leaders of different political parties, high-ranking government officials, chiefs of the constitutional bodies, chiefs of the security bodies and chiefs of the diplomatic missions in Nepal are invited for the program.Follow @gorkhapost