Fire evacuation orders lifted north of Fort McMurray

The Associated Press

FILE – In this Friday, May 13, 2016 file photo, This aerial photo shows the charred remains of homes in wildfire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta. More than 80,000 residents who fled Canada’s main oil sands town because of a massive wildfire could return home starting on June 1 if conditions are deemed to be safe, officials said Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (Jason Franson /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT The Associated Press

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta (AP) — Alberta officials have lifted mandatory evacuation orders in some areas north of Fort McMurray, where a raging wildfire has forced the evacuation of more than 80,000 people and the closure of oil sands operations.

Officials said Saturday that conditions have improved in some parts north of the oil sands city. Suncor Energy Inc. and Syncrude will now be able to resume its idled northern oil sands operations and bring back evacuated workers.

About 8,000 oil sands workers in camps north of Fort McMurray were evacuated after gusting winds and high temperatures caused the fire to move rapidly toward them earlier this week.

The blaze, which began May 1, has covered 1,930 square miles (5,000 square kilometers), including areas that are still burning and those where the fire has already been put out.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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