NEWS
05/03/2016 15:37 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 01:12 EDT

Facts about Fort McMurray, the northern Alberta community threatened by fire

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — A look at Fort McMurray, the northern Alberta community in which several neighbourhoods were under an evacuation notice Tuesday because of a wildfire:

LOCATION: Fort McMurray is 435 kilometres northeast of Edmonton on Highway 63, just west of the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary.

SIZE: Fort McMurray is the largest community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. A 2015 municipal census pegged the population of the region at about 125,000. The urban centre of Fort McMurray had just over 61,000 people, according to the 2011 federal census.

ACCESS: Highway 63 is the major route to the Wood Buffalo region. The fire, which started Sunday, jumped the highway Tuesday.

HISTORY: Fort McMurray was once a fur trading post.

TODAY: Fort McMurray is best known now as a hub for the oilsands industry, which is the top employer in the region. The industry has been hit hard by the downturn in the energy sector.