Fort McMurray Wildfires

On May 1, 2016, a local state of emergency was declared in northern Alberta as wildfires began to spread south-west of Fort McMurray, the fourth largest city in Alberta. Two days later, the approximately 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray were ordered to evacuate as the fire entered the city. With almost no advance warning, many fled with only the clothes on their back.

The fires are still burning and to date have consumed about 5,900 square kilometres. It’s been estimated that about 2,500 structures were destroyed by the fire and damage estimates run up to $10-billion. The evacuees are still waiting to go home.

News photographers covered, and are still covering, Alberta’s largest fire evacuation and possibly Canada’s costliest disaster.

Contributing to this gallery (in alphabetical order): Amber Bracken, Jason Franson, Jonathan Hayward, Jeff McIntosh, Codie McLachlan and Larry Wong.

The last eight photos in this gallery tell the story of what each person quickly decided to take when they fled their home.


Category: Photo Essay

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