A massive wildfire which raged near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on 1 May 2016 has now been spread to the edges of two major oil-sands mining complexes located northern part of the province.
About 8,000 workers have been evacuated from the oil sands camps and production facilities nearest to the fires.
Due to risk from uncontrolled wildfire, which is estimated to cover 355,000ha, Suncor Energy’s two oil sands mines with 300,000 barrels of oil a day production capacity and a pair of oil-sands well sites were forced to close.
Additionally, Suncor’s Syncrude unit has closed its 350,000-barrel-a-day-capacity mines.
Suncor said in a statement: "There has been no damage to Suncor’s assets.
"Suncor has enhanced fire mitigation and protection around all of its facilities. When it is safe to do so, we will continue implementing our restart plans.
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of people, the environment and our assets."
More than 80,000 residents have also been shifted from northern town at the hub of the energy industry due to the wildfire.
The Wall Street Journal reported Alberta Forest Ministry Chief Wildfire Official Chad Morrison as saying: "The oil sands facilities still, at this point, have had the fire burn up around some edges, but it’s something that’s held there.
"In the coming days, we expect the weather to improve and [that] we’ll continue to have more success with our firefighting."
Meanwhile, the closure of the oil sands production facilities has reduced the country’s oil output by 1 million barrels a day, reported Reuters.
About 1,754 firefighters, 208 helicopters, 412 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers are currently working to put out the fires.
Image: The wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta is estimated to cover 355,000ha. Photo: courtesy of Toa55/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.