The entire population of the Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, has been ordered to evacuate as a wildfire whipped by winds engulfed homes and sent ash raining down on residents.
More than 80,000 residents have been ordered to flee after an earlier order that had applied to almost 30,000 people, mostly on the city's south side, was extended to tens of thousands more as flames continued to make their way into the city Tuesday. Residents were panicked. Highway 63 is the only road out of the city and flames jumped the road.
The wildfire, whipped by unpredictable winds on a day of high temperatures, worsened dramatically in a short time and many residents had little notice to flee.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called it the biggest evacuation in the history of the province and said officials were doing all they could to ensure everyone's safety. She said they were looking into the possibility of an airlift for residents with medical issues.