Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Canada evacuates oil workers amid wildfires

About 500 to 600 workers from oil camps north of Canada's main oil sands city are being ordered to evacuate because of an approaching wildfire and there is a precautionary evacuation under way for two oil sands sites involving about 4,000 people. (M AP)

A quickly spreading wildfire forced the evacuation of 4,000 workers at major oil sands facilities in Canada late Monday.

The evacuations near Fort McMurray come as the nation's oil industry attempts to ramp up production after wildfires in the area ignited two weeks ago. The fires previously forced more than 80,000 residents to evacuate and destroyed more than 2,400 structures.

The situation had appeared to stabilize in recent days as the fire moved away from the area. Sneh Seetal, a spokesman for Suncor Energy, one of the affected energy firms, called it a precautionary measure. "The facilities are not at risk," she said.

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"However, we felt it was important to take these steps in the interest of putting people first."

Rachel Notley, premier of Alberta, said around 600 workers were sent to oil sands installations north of Fort McMurray.

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