Fort McMurray Wildfire Forces 700 People To Evacuate

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FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — An out-of-control wildfire has forced about 700 people from their homes near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta.

Emergency officials issued a mandatory evacuation order late Sunday for residents of the Centennial Trailer Park and Prairie Creek neighbourhoods just south of the city after the fire got rolling earlier in the day.

Another 3,300 people in an area called Gregoire are on a voluntary evacuation notice.

As of early Monday morning, the fire was just over one kilometre from the city and had covered a little more than a square kilometre of forest.

There are no reports of injuries, but air quality is a concern because of thick smoke.

Darby Allen, regional fire chief for the Wood Buffalo municipality, said regional and provincial resources are being brought to bear on the fire, leaving crews in "reasonable shape'' waiting to see what the day brings.

Allen also said that unlike Sunday, the wind was calm during the morning hours.

"The good news is it's not pushing it in a direction we don't want it to go. The bad news is it's not clearing out any of the smoke. You kind of get what you get.''

A reception centre has been set up for evacuees at a recreation centre in Fort McMurray.

Two other wildfires in the region are considered under control.

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