FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — The huge wildfire that tore through parts of Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta is classified as being held for the first time since it became out of control in early May.
Wildfire information officer Lynn Daina said the designation means the fire is no longer growing, but is not yet under control.
Daina said it's an important day for firefighters who have been battling the blaze for weeks.
"It is a big deal. It is like the happy dance day,'' she said Monday.
"There has been so much and so many people on this fire — more than 2,000 at its peak working it daily.''
Firefighters from Little Red River Cree Nation walk along an access road outside of Fort McMurray. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/Bloomberg via Getty)
The perimeter of the fire, including burned areas, covers just under 5,900 square kilometres.
Daina said the work of firefighters combined with recent rainy weather and high humidity checked the fire's growth.
Thousands of residents have been returning to Fort McMurray this month after being forced to flee on May 3.
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