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Fort McMurray Principal Fled With Bus Of School Children, Now Waiting To Return

A charred vehicle and homes are pictured in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, May 9, 2016 after wildfires forced the evacuation of the town. Fort McMurray is still 90-percent intact despite a week of damage from the wildfires devastating Canada's oil sands region, Alberta's premier said after touring the deserted city on Monday. Firefighters warned however that the tens of thousands of residents evacuated from the western oil city would not be able to return for at least two weeks. (Chris Wattie/AFP/Getty Images)
A charred vehicle and homes are pictured in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, May 9, 2016 after wildfires forced the evacuation of the town. Fort McMurray is still 90-percent intact despite a week of damage from the wildfires devastating Canada's oil sands region, Alberta's premier said after touring the deserted city on Monday. Firefighters warned however that the tens of thousands of residents evacuated from the western oil city would not be able to return for at least two weeks. (Chris Wattie/AFP/Getty Images)

New evacuations have been ordered in Alberta, Canada, where a wildfire that started May 1st has already forced the evacuation of 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray. This time 8,000 oil workers at camps north of the city are being asked to leave as the evacuation zone expanded when hot dry conditions returned to the region, hampering containment. Workers had been trying to restart oil production at the facilities – an effort that will be further delayed. Officials today also released air quality index information. Normally a scale of one to ten, Monday’s reading was 38.

As displaced families wait to return to the city, Alberta officials have also released an app allowing them to look at real-time satellite images of the damage – and set up a mental health hotline for those disturbed by what they see.

Lisa Hilsenteger is the principal of a Fort McMurray elementary school who escaped the fire with a school bus full of children. She made it safely to Edmonton where she spoke by Skype to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Guest

  • Lisa Hilsenteger, principal, Father Turcotte School in Fort McMurray, Canada. She tweets @LisaHilsen.

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