Forest fire | Residents forced to leave Fort McMurray can return

(Fort McMurray) The Alberta municipality that governs the Fort McMurray oilsands hub said Saturday that residents evacuated due to nearby wildfires can now return home.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has lifted the evacuation order for the Abasand, Beacon Hill, Prairie Creek and Grayling Terrace neighborhoods on the southern edge of the city.

Around 6,600 residents of these neighborhoods were forced to hastily leave their homes on Tuesday while the fire was still considered out of control, but a press release from the municipality indicates that firefighters have made considerable progress since then.

The statement said recent rainy weather helped dampen the fire and reduce its intensity, allowing those battling it to bring it under control and erect firebreaks at its northern edge.

The municipality says local highways are open in both directions and emergency social services, which include access to food and accommodation, will remain available until midday Sunday.

Elsewhere, the Parker Lake and Patry Creek wildfires continue to threaten the town of Fort Nelson in northeastern British Columbia, which remains under an evacuation order. The two fires covered a combined area of ​​841 square kilometers as of Saturday morning.

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