FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.—Crews fighting to save Fort McMurray from rampaging flames water bombed the city Thursday to try to keep away a wildfire so intense it has spawned its own weather.
“It was creating its own high winds yesterday and even lightning was coming from the smoke clouds it created,” Chad Morrison of Alberta Forestry told a briefing in Edmonton.
Officials could not update the number of structures that have burned — already at 1,600 — saying crews had not had the time.
“This is an extreme fire event,” said Morrison.
“Our first priority, obviously, was the community and the homes as well as the critical infrastructure.”
Morrison said there were 22 water bombers at work and more were coming in, including four from Quebec.