Via CBC News Edmonton: Fort McMurray fire grows to 423,000 hectares, continues to threaten oilsands sites. Excerpt:
The Fort McMurray wildfire in northern Alberta is carving a new path of destruction, destroying an oilsands camp while racing eastward toward more industry sites.
The fire, which has become known as "the beast," grew by a staggering 57,000 hectares in the last 24 hours, consuming 423,000 hectares of boreal forest as of Wednesday morning.
Wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather attributes the "pretty significant" growth to "extreme fire conditions."
"It's really burning intensely and the winds have been carrying it," he said Wednesday.
The fire forced 8,000 non-essential workers to flee the area Monday night, and a mandatory evacuation order remains in place for all work camps north of the city.
The majority were sent by ground to work camps near Fort MacKay, about 53 kilometres to the north. But some were also bused, or later flown, south to Edmonton and Calgary.
By Tuesday morning, the flames had made their way to the Blacksand Executive Lodge, which provides accommodations to hundreds of workers in the area.
The building's sprinkler system was no match for the raging inferno, and all 665 units of the building were consumed by the fire.
Within hours, the flames had spread east, threatening the Noralta Lodge Fort McMurray Village, a facility that can house more than 3,000 people, and Horizon North's Birch Mountain, a 540-unit facility.
Noralta officials took to social media Tuesday night to say the fire had been held back, but the site was still at risk and crews would be working through the night to protect the facility.
Six kilometres away from the Blacksand Lodge, the Birch Mountain Lodge, also owned by Horizon North, remains in the path of the fire.