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Canadian city declares emergency over blaze

5 May 2016 7:51


A state of emergency has been declared in Canada’s McMurray as a raging wildfire burnt dozens of more buildings and forced the evacuation of the main oil sands city.

The Canadian province of Alberta officially announced the emergency state late on Wednesday after the blaze destroyed at least 1,600 buildings, mostly homes, and forced more than 80,000 residents to flee.

“This fire is absolutely devastating,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “It’s a loss on a scale that is hard for many of us to imagine.”

Alberta’s emergency management officials said the fire had grown from about 1,200 hectares to span more than 10,000 hectares in the past two days.

Nine air tankers, a dozen helicopters and some 250 firefighters were battling the flames. The military was also put on alert.

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