A massive convoy is bringing thousands of stranded evacuees from oilfield camps north of fire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta to safety.
Officials are moving 1,500 vehicles, 50 at a time, through the city on Highway 63 to a point south of the community where they can disperse.
They’re being escorted by the RCMP and the Canadian military Griffin helicopters, a venture that is expected to take four days.
Most of the evacuees are expected to head to evacuation shelters in Edmonton.
As many as 8,000 were flown out of the camps Thursday, and officials are hoping to match that today with more flights and, for the first time, allowing people to drive their own vehicles south.
The fire started Sunday and by Tuesday was roaring through the city, forcing the evacuation of approximately 88,000 residents.
Thanks to high winds, scorching heat and low humidity, the wildfire grew from 75 square kilometres Tuesday to 850 square kilometres by Thursday.
That is roughly equivalent to the size of Calgary.