Canada wildfires: Evacuation centre no safe haven

  • 06/05/2016
Canada wildfires: Evacuation centre no safe haven

Parts of Alberta are literally hell on earth.  Forty-nine fires are raging -- at least seven burning out of control. 

"Let me be clear, air tankers are not going to stop this fire.  This fire is an extreme fire event," says senior wildfire prevention manager Chad Morrison.

After the fire tore through the town of Fort McMurray, it wasn't only burned out, but bombed out.

Exhausted firefighters were sprawled on the grass.  Eric Lavellee can't comprehend it.

"It's something like you'd see outta the movies.  The bank was on fire when we were driving.  The trailer park that was there is gone. The Super 8's gone.  One of the gas stations is gone," says Mr Morrison.

The Canadian government sent in reinforcements as huge plumes of smoke dwarfed the landscape. No place felt safe; not even the evacuation centre. 

There were hundreds of people in the shelter last night but then the wind changed direction and the fire headed in that direction. They had to evacuate the evacuation centre.

They piled on buses in the middle of the night and were once again forced to leave.  

Donna Guillamot was evacuated for the second time.

"It's very stressful.  You don't know what's burned and what's not burned.  When you can go back and then you're sitting here and all you can see is red flames -- it's pretty scary."

CBS News