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State of emergency declared as Fort McMurray continues to burn

Firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment are working hard to contain wildfires at Fort McMurray, AB. — Photo courtesy Alberta Wildfire Info.

The Alberta Government has declared a state of emergency Wednesday as the wildfire in Fort McMurray continues to burn.

The wildfire, which experts believe may have been human caused due to its proximity to the city of Fort McMurray, has caused the mandatory evacuation order remains of approximately 80,000 people.

More than 250 firefighters as well as helicopters and air tankers are currently fighting this wildfire.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have both declared a State of Local Emergency.

Alberta Transportation is escorting a fuel tanker along Highway 63 to assist stranded motorists evacuating the city.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has also issued a boil-water advisory. This advisory also affects camps within the region.

Alberta Health Services has issued an Air Quality Advisory for the Fort McMurray area; residents are advised to take appropriate precautions.

Since April 1, there have been 329 wildfires in the province. All but two have been contained.

The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations via phone, online or through text message. Details can be found at www.redcross.ca.

The Government of Alberta will match any donations to the Red Cross.

“We know Albertans are stepping up to help the people of Fort McMurray; that’s what Albertans do when people are in need," said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

"The most effective thing people can do right now is make donations to the Red Cross, knowing our government will match those funds.”

Donations can be made at the Red Cross website or by phoning 1-800-418-1111.

At this time, Canadian Red Cross is not seeking volunteers.