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A wildfire has forced out hundreds of residents in Canada's oil sands hub of Fort McMurray

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A wildfire has forced out hundreds of residents in Canada's oil sands hub of Fort McMurray
News

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A wildfire has forced out hundreds of residents in Canada's oil sands hub of Fort McMurray

2024-05-15 09:18 Last Updated At:09:21

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Hundreds of residents in four neighborhoods in the southern end of Canada’s oil sand hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, were ordered to evacuate with a wildfire threatening the community, authorities said Tuesday.

The Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo said residents in Beacon Hill, Abasand, Prairie Creek and Grayling Terrace needed to leave by 4 p.m.

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Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew speaks with evacuees from the Cranberry Portage area at the reception centre at the Wescana Inn in The Pas, Man., as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Hundreds of residents in four neighborhoods in the southern end of Canada’s oil sand hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, were ordered to evacuate with a wildfire threatening the community, authorities said Tuesday.

Firefighters arrive at the Flin Flon airport, as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Firefighters arrive at the Flin Flon airport, as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew surveys wildfires burning in northern Manitoba from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew surveys wildfires burning in northern Manitoba from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A wildfire burns in northern Manitoba near Flin Flon, as seen from a helicopter surveying the situation, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A wildfire burns in northern Manitoba near Flin Flon, as seen from a helicopter surveying the situation, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A cottage destroyed by wildfires burning in northern Manitoba, Canada, as seen from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A cottage destroyed by wildfires burning in northern Manitoba, Canada, as seen from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Kristen Leer, a Fort Nelson, B.C. evacuee, stops for a photo at the North Peace Arena in Fort St. John, B.C., on Monday, May 13, 2024. Leer said as a quadriplegic she is impressed with how the province is treating people with disabilities.Wildfires are forcing more people to evacuate their homes in dry and windy northeastern B.C. (Jesse Boily /The Canadian Press via AP)

Kristen Leer, a Fort Nelson, B.C. evacuee, stops for a photo at the North Peace Arena in Fort St. John, B.C., on Monday, May 13, 2024. Leer said as a quadriplegic she is impressed with how the province is treating people with disabilities.Wildfires are forcing more people to evacuate their homes in dry and windy northeastern B.C. (Jesse Boily /The Canadian Press via AP)

This photo provided by the BC Wildfire Service shows a view of the Parker Lake wildfire near Fort Nelson, B.C. on Monday, May 13, 2024. (BC Wildfire Service/The Canadian Press via AP)

This photo provided by the BC Wildfire Service shows a view of the Parker Lake wildfire near Fort Nelson, B.C. on Monday, May 13, 2024. (BC Wildfire Service/The Canadian Press via AP)

An emergency evacuation warning remained in place for the rest of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.

The rural municipality said the residents in the four neighborhoods were being ordered out to clear room for crews to fight the fire, which had moved to within 13 kilometers (8 miles) of the city.

Fort McMurray has a population of about 68,000, and a wildfire there in 2016 destroyed 2,400 homes and forced more than 80,000 people to flee.

“It’s very important for me to know that this fire activity is very different than the 2016 Horse River wildfire. We have an abundance of resources and we are well positioned to respond to this situation,” Regional Fire Chief Jody Butz said.

Suzy Gerendi, who runs the dessert shop in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, said she was already packed up when the evacuation order came down. Gerendi lived in Beacon Hill when fire overtook it in 2016.

She immediately began the drive towards Edmonton, Alberta with her three dogs.

“It’s very, very dark and orange,” Gerendi said. “It brings up some memories and it’s not a good feeling.”

Residents were also dealing with heavy smoke and ash.

“It’s dark. The smoke is everywhere,” said resident Else Hoko.

Hoko picked up her two sons from school in Abasand after receiving the evacuation order. She had also fled in 2016.

“I’m so stressed,” she said, adding that she’s praying for rain.

The Beacon Hill and Abasand neighborhoods saw serious losses in 2016.

The current fire has grown to about 110 square kilometers (42.5 square miles) and remains out of control.

Josee St. Onge, an Alberta Wildfire information officer, said wind is pushing the fire toward the community.

She said crews have been pulled from the fire line for safety reasons, and air tankers and helicopters continue to drop water and retardant on the “active edges.”

“Unfortunately, these are not favorable winds for us, and the fire will continue to advance towards the town until we see a wind shift,” she said.

More than 230 wildfires were burning across western Canada, most of them in British Columbia, where about 130 were counted, officials said.

In the northeast of the neighboring province of British Columbia, areas subject to mandatory evacuation increased, with the latest order Monday for Doig River First Nation and the Peace River Regional District as a fire threatened nearby.

Forecasts on Tuesday called for wind that could blow a growing wildfire closer to Fort Nelson. Emergency workers had been phoning as many of the estimated 50 residents still in town and urging them to go.

The British Columbia Wildfire Service said the blaze had grown to 84 square kilometers (32 miles). On Monday, it was about 53 square kilometers (21 miles) in size. A photo by the service shows the billowing blaze spreading in a vast wooded area.

The community of about 4,700 and the neighboring Fort Nelson First Nation have been under an evacuation order since Friday.

Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Rob Fraser said one drawback of the evacuation is the challenge for essential staff, including firefighters, to find food.

“This is really going to be weather dependent, and so far the weather has been holding with us,” Fraser said of the wildfire in a video posted to Facebook.

In 2023, Canada experienced a record number of wildfires that caused choking smoke in parts of the U.S. and forced more than 235,000 Canadians to evacuate their communities. At least four firefighters died.

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew speaks with evacuees from the Cranberry Portage area at the reception centre at the Wescana Inn in The Pas, Man., as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew speaks with evacuees from the Cranberry Portage area at the reception centre at the Wescana Inn in The Pas, Man., as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Firefighters arrive at the Flin Flon airport, as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Firefighters arrive at the Flin Flon airport, as wildfires burn in northern Manitoba on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew surveys wildfires burning in northern Manitoba from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew surveys wildfires burning in northern Manitoba from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A wildfire burns in northern Manitoba near Flin Flon, as seen from a helicopter surveying the situation, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A wildfire burns in northern Manitoba near Flin Flon, as seen from a helicopter surveying the situation, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A cottage destroyed by wildfires burning in northern Manitoba, Canada, as seen from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

A cottage destroyed by wildfires burning in northern Manitoba, Canada, as seen from a helicopter on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press via AP)

Kristen Leer, a Fort Nelson, B.C. evacuee, stops for a photo at the North Peace Arena in Fort St. John, B.C., on Monday, May 13, 2024. Leer said as a quadriplegic she is impressed with how the province is treating people with disabilities.Wildfires are forcing more people to evacuate their homes in dry and windy northeastern B.C. (Jesse Boily /The Canadian Press via AP)

Kristen Leer, a Fort Nelson, B.C. evacuee, stops for a photo at the North Peace Arena in Fort St. John, B.C., on Monday, May 13, 2024. Leer said as a quadriplegic she is impressed with how the province is treating people with disabilities.Wildfires are forcing more people to evacuate their homes in dry and windy northeastern B.C. (Jesse Boily /The Canadian Press via AP)

This photo provided by the BC Wildfire Service shows a view of the Parker Lake wildfire near Fort Nelson, B.C. on Monday, May 13, 2024. (BC Wildfire Service/The Canadian Press via AP)

This photo provided by the BC Wildfire Service shows a view of the Parker Lake wildfire near Fort Nelson, B.C. on Monday, May 13, 2024. (BC Wildfire Service/The Canadian Press via AP)

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Alcaraz's Wimbledon defense takes a hit when he loses in Queen's second round

2024-06-20 22:57 Last Updated At:23:00

LONDON (AP) — Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz's buildup took a hit when he lost in the second round of Queen's Club on Thursday.

Alcaraz, the defending Queen's champion and top seed, lost to Jack Draper 7-6 (3), 6-3.

For Draper, the British No. 1, it was the biggest win of his career. He was impressively composed in front of his home crowd.

Queen's was Alcaraz's only grass-court preparation last year en route to winning Wimbledon for the first time.

But this time the Spaniard will have only two grass matches under his belt following his French Open victory. Wimbledon starts in 11 days.

Draper ended Alcaraz's eight-match win streak while extending his own to seven after winning his first ATP title last week in Stuttgart.

Draper didn't drop serve against Alcaraz. They were finally separated in the first set in the tiebreak, where Draper shot to 4-0 then 6-1. Alcaraz netted a return to concede the set.

Alcaraz suffered the only break in the sixth game of the second set, after Draper's backhand return serve down the line.

Draper saved a break point to hold for 5-2, then Alcaraz saved three match points to hold. Draper served out and threw his arms in the air.

“I knew I had to come out here and play really well, and luckily I did that,” he said on court.

He faces fifth-seeded Tommy Paul in the quarterfinals.

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

Jack Draper of Britain celebrates winning match point against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during their men's singles match on day six of The Queen's Club tennis tournament, in London, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Jack Draper of Britain celebrates winning match point against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during their men's singles match on day six of The Queen's Club tennis tournament, in London, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain reacts after losing a point against Jack Draper of Britain during their men's singles match on day six of The Queen's Club tennis tournament, in London, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain reacts after losing a point against Jack Draper of Britain during their men's singles match on day six of The Queen's Club tennis tournament, in London, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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