Fort McMurray fire crosses into Saskatchewan and grows to 483,000 hectares

A view of the burned out Super 8 motel is shown during a media tour of the fire-damaged city of Fort McMurray, Alta. on Monday, May 9, 2016. JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

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The growing wildfire that destroyed thousands of structures in Fort McMurray has crossed into Saskatchewan, officials said Thursday morning.

Provincial wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather confirmed that about 771 hectares had burned on the other side of the provincial boundary.

“Satellite was showing some hot spots over in Saskatchewan, and we weren’t really sure because there was new fire started in Saskatchewan due to lightning yesterday,” Fairweather said. But he said officials were now able to say the blaze had crossed the boundary.

The fire has also continued to expand in size as it moves northeast. Fairweather said on Thursday it is burning 483,000 hectares, growing 61,000 hectares from Wednesday, an increase that he described as “significant.” 

“We’re expecting a bit of a shift in the winds today, and then hopefully a bit of this rain, and then hopefully it can calm down a bit,” Fairweather said.

Environment Canada is forecasting a 60 per cent chance of showers for Fort McMurray on Thursday, with an expected high of 10 C.

pparsons@postmedia.com

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