Wildfire Evacuation Alerts Issued for Canadian Oil Sands Hub

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(Bloomberg) — Fort McMurray, hub of Canada’s oil-sands operations, is under an evacuation alert as an out-of-control fire rages about 16 kilometers (10 miles) southwest of the Alberta town.

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“The wildfire danger is extreme in the Fort McMurray Forest Area,” according to a notice from the Alberta government posted at 9 p.m. on Friday. Strong winds are expected on Saturday as a cold front passes over the region, potentially fanning the flames further.

About 70,000 residents of Fort McMurray are being advised to be ready to leave on short notice. Hundreds more in the nearby Saprea Creek Estates are under the same alert from the municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Massive fires burned down swathes of Fort McMurray eight years ago, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate and temporarily shutting more than 1 million barrels a day of oil production.

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