Crews gain ground on Fort McMurray wildfire, just days before re-entry
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Crews gain ground on Fort McMurray wildfire, just days before re-entry

Courtesy: Alberta Wildfire Info

Many Fort McMurray evacuees are packing their bags and loading up on enough groceries to last at least two weeks. They’re just days away from Mounties opening the barriers to the city for the phased re-entry.

Meanwhile, it appears crews are gaining some ground against the raging wildfire that forced residents out. There’s moisture in the air and more back-up crews coming to help douse the flames. The province expects firefighting conditions to improve with cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast.

The blaze slightly decreased in size over the weekend, it’s now covering 579,946 hectares. With the first phase of re-entry slated for Wednesday, local government says it’s on track to welcome back evacuees.

In a message posted Sunday night, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo also confirmed the wildfire-ravaged areas on the community’s west side are being closely monitored.

There are signs things are getting back to normal. The local RCMP detachment is fully operational; Home Hardware is open with a large stock of fridges for the thousands of homes who will dump theirs because of rotting food, and 660 NEWS’ sister stations Country 93.3 and Rock 97.9 are back on the air.

There is also more help landing in Fort McMurray. About 300 firefighters from South Africa arrived at the Edmonton airport Sunday night. They sang songs as a large group welcomed them to Alberta.