Rain and Cloud Cover to Aid Crews Battling Fort McMurray Wildfire

Cloud cover and rain showers over the next few days are set to help crews battling a large wildfire near the Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, local authorities said on Friday.
The impacts of an old wildfire are seen in the hills above the evacuated neighbourhood of Grayling Terrace two days after a wildfire caused the evacuation of communities on the southern edge of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada May 16, 2024.
The impacts of an old wildfire are seen in the hills above the evacuated neighbourhood of Grayling Terrace two days after a wildfire caused the evacuation of communities on the southern edge of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada May 16, 2024. REUTERS/Jesse Winter

(Reuters) - Cloud cover and rain showers over the next few days are set to help crews battling a large wildfire near the Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, local authorities said on Friday.

Overnight, the fire stayed about 5.5 km (3.4 miles) from the landfill on the city's southern outskirts where crews are continuing to build a containment line.

The municipal authority of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, said the fire was largely unchanged at 196 sq km (76 square miles).

"Fire behavior will be subdued today with cloud cover and rain showers. The next few days show a similar forecast with precipitation values varying from 20 mm (0.8 inches) to 80 mm of total precipitation by Tuesday," it said in a statement.

Fort McMurray is the hub for most of Canada's oil output. A huge wildfire in 2016 forced the evacuation of 90,000 residents, burned down 2,400 buildings and idled more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of production.

There have been no reports of fire-related disruption to Alberta oil and gas production.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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