UPDATE AT 11:45 A.M. CENTRAL — According to Global News, 1,600 buildings have been destroyed in Fort McMurray.
Yesterday 30,000 people fled Fort McMurray, driving past walls of flame on both sides of the highway and clouds of smoke and sparks raining down on their vehicles as they escaped from a massive wildfires. Today, almost 3 times that many have left, evacuating the entire metro area as the fire renders a community an almost complete loss.
(Video: Incredible footage of cars evacuating through the flames. Semi-bleeped-out swearing.)
According to reporter Cullen Bird of Fort McMurray Today, 88,000 people have been evacuated from the northern Alberta city. CNN reports that the 38-square-mile blaze has destroyed 80% of the homes in the city's Beacon Hill community while several other neighborhoods have also been severely damaged.
Forestry manager Bernie Schmitte described the nature of the wildfire, saying, "All our efforts to control and contain the fire were challenged by this extreme fire behavior. Efforts were also hampered by smoke conditions. Basically fire behavior was beyond all control efforts."
Strong wind gusts and 90-degree temperatures have fueled the fast-moving blaze.
Miraculously, there have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
One fleeing resident wrote on Twitter to friends and family members, "I am out. I am safe. I've never been more scared in my life. Praying for my home right now."
Please continue to pray for the residents and firefighters of Fort McMurray.