As destructive wildfires continue to ravage the Fort McMurray area in Western Canada, a long trip south began Friday for a convoy of people who were forced to flee their homes during an evacuation earlier in the week, the Guardian reported.
Most of the town fled to the south during Wednesday's evacuation of 88,000 people, but some 25,000 others were directed to leave to the north and spent three days stranded at oil sands work camps. A large portion of those 25,000 evacuees began Friday a slow trek south, inching through the charred city they had recently left behind. Officials decided to carry out the convoy after they grew wary of the fires' unpredictable spread and wanted people to have better access to support services in the south, the Guardian reported. Police led the group on the trip as helicopters buzzed overhead, eyeing the route for smoke or flames.
The convoy came after a smaller portion of the group, about 8,000 of the 25,000, were airlifted out of the northern camps Thursday. The massive blaze has already destroyed at least 1,600 homes and other buildings.
— Baedrian Lee (@AdrianKLee) May 5, 2016
The wildfires have caused some of the oil production in the area to be shut down as a precautionary measure. Canada's daily crude output was lessened by about one-third. The Alberta province remained in a state of emergency Friday, with more than 1,000 firefighters, 145 helicopters, 138 pieces of heavy equipment and 22 air tankers working to put out a total of 49 wildfires across the province.
As the damage has come into scale and stunning, seemingly apocalyptic images of the blaze have rolled in, people have jumped at the chance to help. For an up-to-date list of ways to donate and how to locate resources check out this page the CBC has set up. Listed below are some other ways to give victims a hand:
Canadian Red Cross
The Red Cross set up an emergency Alberta Appeals page here. You can also simply text "REDCROSS" to 30333 to make a $5 donation.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will match individual donations made to the Canadian Red Cross, so your amount will essentially count double.
"The outpouring of goodwill and compassion from Canadians right across the country has not only been inspirational, it has been entirely characteristic of who we are and the fundamental human values we share as Canadians," Trudeau said Thursday.
This site was set up to help people find a place to stay.
Edmonton Emergency Relief Services
A page called Fort Mac Donations has been set up to help assist those in need.