Canadian Town Destroyed by Flames
United Press International
May 16, 2011
Alberta – A wildfire roared through the Canadian town of Slave Lake Sunday, destroying scores of buildings in a scene described by one resident as Armageddon. The northern Alberta province community of about 7,000 people lost a shopping center, high school, city hall, police station, library, radio station, apartment complexes and an undetermined number of houses, The Globe and Mail in Toronto reported. There were no reports of injuries.
“This is a disaster, no question about it,” Sgt. Mike Proctor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told Edmonton radio station News 880 AM.
Residents were ordered to evacuate as the flames bore down on the town. Travel out of town was limited to one road, the newspaper said.
“It was literally like Armageddon,” Slave Lake resident Mouhamed Mouallem told News 880.
“The sky was changing color every split second.”
The fire, which also interrupted cellphone communications, was being fought by about 200 firefighters.
“The winds just keep fanning it hotter and hotter and hotter, and the wind’s not slowing down,” Mandy Jeworski, 27, told The Globe and Mail. “I’m scared for the people that are in Slave Lake right now.”
Slave Lake wasn’t alone in facing fire dangers. More than 1,000 firefighters were battling in excess of three dozen wildfires out of control in across the province.
Slave Lake Mayor Karina Pillay told CTV News people were being urged to get out of town as soon as possible.
“We are asking people who are able to travel and have the fuel to get to Athabasca, to leave the community,” Pillay said. “If they do not have transportation or fuel we are asking them to come down to the Northern Lakes College and register with us.”
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