Wildfire Approaches Canada’s Largest Oil-Producing Area. Again.

A wildfire was nearing Canada’s largest oil producing region of Canada prompting the evacuation since Tuesday of about 6,600 people from Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The evacuation has evoked fearful memories of a major fire in 2016 that destroyed roughly 2,400 homes and businesses, forced 90,000 people to flee and became the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history.

The start of wildfire season in Canada follows a record setting year in 2023 when about 45 million acres of forest burned, a huge increase from the annual average of 6.1 million.

Unusually large fires spanned the country with choking smoke from fires in Quebec filling the skies of Eastern Canada and filtering down and degrading air quality down the eastern seaboard of the United States.

Last week federal officials said that prolonged dry conditions in Alberta and British Columbia have set up a potentially dangerous wildfire season in those areas as well as to the north.

This week’s evacuation order was one of several issued in recent days in northern Alberta and neighboring portions of British Columbia, an area hard hit last year by fires and that is in its third year of drought.

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