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Fort McMurray wildfire behaviour expected to be ‘subdued’ with cooler temperatures, rain

Alberta Wildfire officials said the Fort McMurray wildfire remained the same size Friday morning as it was on Thursday.

In an update at 9 a.m. Friday, Alberta Wildfire said the fire remained 19,820 hectares in size. It is still about 4.5 kilometres from highways 61 and 881, and about 5.5 kilometres from the Fort McMurray landfill site.

Officials expect wildfire behaviour to be “subdued” on Friday with cloud cover, cooler temperatures and rain. The next few days show anywhere between 20 and 80 millimetres of rain for the region by Tuesday.

The temperature is expected to be 7 C in Fort McMurray in Friday, with five to 15 mm of rain. Officials said between 8.7 and 10.3 mm had already fallen in the region overnight.

Winds are expected to be out of the northeast on Friday, with speeds of 20 km/h.

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Click to play video: 'Fort McMurray wildfire: Evacuees eased as crews, weather douse flames'

Fort McMurray wildfire: Evacuees eased as crews, weather douse flames

As of Thursday, Alberta Wildfire said 2,597 evacuees and 379 pets had registered at reception centres in Edmonton, Lac La Biche and Cold Lake.

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Around-the-clock work continues on a containment line to complete a fire break between the Athabasca River and Horse River.

About 6,600 residents were forced to flee their homes on Tuesday afternoon due to the out-of-control wildfire. The Fort McMurray communities of Abasand, Beacon Hill, Grayling Terrace and Prairie Creek remain under an evacuation order. Officials said Thursday they expect that evacuation order to remain in place until at least Tuesday.

For the latest information on which areas in Alberta are under an evacuation alert or order due to a wildfire, visit the Alberta Emergency Alert website.

For the latest information on the wildfire status and danger across the province, visit the Alberta Wildfire website.

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The latest information on fire advisories, restrictions and bans across the province can be found on the Alberta fire bans website.

Alberta Wildfire said Friday, May 17, 2024 that structure protection has been completed in the Abasand, Prairie Creek and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods, as well as on the Rickards Landing Industrial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates and Gregoire Lake 176. Courtesy / Alberta Wildfire
Alberta Wildfire said Friday, May 17, 2024 that structure protection has been completed in the Abasand, Prairie Creek and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods, as well as on the Rickards Landing Industrial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates and Gregoire Lake 176. Courtesy / Alberta Wildfire

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