Latest Videos from CTV Edmonton
Oilsands facilities north of Fort McMurray not damaged by fire: Premier
Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016 12:30PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2016 7:05PM MDT
In a news conference held Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley talked about plans to bring oilsands production back online, after a number of facilities were evacuated due to the threat of a major wildfire that hit Fort McMurray.
The premier and oilsands executives met Tuesday at the Alberta Legislature.
“Our meeting today was a chance for me to listen and hear directly from our industry partners on their current situation,” Notley said.
Notley said oilsands facilities north of Fort McMurray were not damaged by the fire, and said production for many operators continued as before, but that wasn’t the case for companies closer to Fort McMurray.
“For those in and around Fort McMurray though, there is an economic consequence to taking production off-line,” Notley said.
“I can say that government and infrastructure are working together to support industry operations. We agree that operations will only start when it is absolutely safe to do so for personnel as well as the environment.”
Notley said the movement of goods on the road to the Fort McMurray sites resumed earlier Tuesday, and officials had started setting up a temporary medical centre.
Earlier in the day, officials with the provincial government released the latest update on the wildfire situation in Alberta, specifically the massive fire burning in the Fort McMurray area.
Officials said the wildfire burning near Fort McMurray had grown to 229,000 hectares, after two fires in the area joined. The blaze is still 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border.
It’s the largest of a total of 25 wildfires burning in Alberta – it’s the only out of control fire currently burning, of the others, one is being held, 17 are under control and six had been turned over to local authorities. On Monday, officials said there were two new fires started.
Throughout the province, there are a total of 1,547 firefighters, 121 helicopters, 194 pieces of heavy equipment and 28 air tankers battling the fires.
In the Fort McMurray area alone, officials said 700 firefighters, 26 helicopters, 13 air tankers and 46 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in the House Tuesday that he plans to travel to Fort McMurray on Friday.
Later on, he spoke about response to the wildfire.
“I want you to know that our government is working closely with Premier Notley and the local authorities to continually assess the situation, we know that help is needed right now and will be needed for months and years to come, and we’re looking for ways to help,” Trudeau said.
Crews moving abandoned vehicles off of Highway 63
A week after thousands were forced to evacuate from Fort McMurray, with some leaving their vehicles on the highway when they ran out of gas, crews are working to clear cars off the highway.
The day Fort McMurray was evacuated, residents encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway – and with little notice, many didn’t have enough gas to get very far, so hundreds of vehicles were left on the side of the road.
Now, crews are towing those vehicles to a secure lot so they don’t get damaged or stolen, so far Tuesday, dozens were being stored.
Anyone who left a vehicle on the highway is asked to contact Boyle RCMP, and CTV News has learned car owners can pick up their vehicles free of charge.
The government’s disaster relief fund is covering the cost of moving and storing the vehicles.
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith