A resurgence in the wildfire that has raged in and around the Canadian city of Fort McMurray for the last two weeks has led to a call for 12,000 people to leave oil sands camps in the area.
Around 8,000 people were given precautionary evacuation orders late on Monday evening, in addition to some 4,000 who had already been advised to leave.
More than 80,000 people evacuated Fort McMurray two weeks ago when the wildfire swept
The fire had moved away from the city but has started to threaten the area again in recent days. According to officials, the Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control and is estimated to cover 284,214 hectares.
Premier Rachel Notley said in a statement, “Last week, five conditions were identified that need to be in place for the safe re-entry of Fort McMurray residents. Work has been progressing on all these fronts, in some cases faster than expected.
“But this remains an active fire zone, with significant air-quality concerns that may delay recovery work and a return to the community.”
There are 1,919 firefighters, 161 helicopters, 377 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
Temperatures are forecast in the high 20s for the next few days, with winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour out of the south.
Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that industry insured losses from the Fort wildfire, which started on May 1, will be between CAD4.4bn ($3.4bn) and CAD9bn ($6.9bn).