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7,000 RESIDENTS EVACUATED AS FIRE ENGULF WESTERN CANADA

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Right photo shows rows and rows of new Ford trucks scorched in the city of Slave Lake in northern Alberta, Canada, yesterday
EDMONTON, Canada - A wildfire engulfed the town of Slave Lake in western Canada on Monday, forcing the evacuation of its 7,000 residents at the start of the forest fire season. Two fires had razed 2,900 hectares of nearby forests before suddenly shifting towards the town and three others in the vicinity that are now threatened.
'We didn't have any warning of how quickly the fire could spread,' Slave Lake mayor Karine Pillay-Kinnee told public broadcaster CBC.
Many homes and buildings have been razed to the ground. Television images showed rows of buildings engulfed in flames as 1,000 firefighters battled the blazes, trying to save what little remains of the town located 250 kilometres north of Edmonton, Alberta.

  • Authorities said there are 116 fires burning in the province, including 39 that are out of control. Hundreds of firefighters backed by dozens of helicopters and air tankers battled fires in Canada's westernmost province to contain the blaze that began consuming thousands of acres at the weekend.
Earlier, Oil and gas companies were shutting down their operations or thinking about doing so as wild fires continued to wreak havoc in northern Alberta on Monday.Penn West Exploration (TSX:PWT) is active in the area surrounding Slave Lake, Alta., a town that has been devastated by the fast-moving flames.The Calgary-based company has shut in between 25,000 and 30,000 barrels per day of production, chief executive officer William Andrew said in an interview.
Source: CBC, Agency
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