State of emergency declared after Canada wildfire

State of emergency declared after Canada wildfire

A state of emergency has been declared in the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, as raging wildfires continue to wipe out entire neighbourhoods.

So far more than seven-thousand hectares of the oil city in Alberta have been destroyed.

The flames aren't dying down yet, leaving an entire city on fire and the sky blackened like a scene from a doomsday film.

Over 88,000 terrified residents have been forced to evacuate, unsure if they'll have homes to return to.

"We only have what we have on our backs," said one Fort McMurray resident.

One couple spoke of fleeing the flames with their dogs and two-week-old baby. They left behind most of their belongings but were thankful to be alive.

"Last night basically our neighbourhood got evacuated, I left work and I was coming home and the smoke clouds and everything else, it was raining ash."

With only one way in and out of the city, they sat in gridlock for 10 hours before finally reaching the safety of Edmonton, just over 400 kilometres away.

"It feels like when you're camping and the smoke of the fire blows on your face, that's what it feels like just constantly and you can't get out of it. And it's terrifying with a newborn because she can't cough the smoke out of her lungs like we can," they said.

Despite the flames destroying whole neighbourhoods, the only reported casualties were two people killed in a crash as they tried to evacuate.

So far more than 1600 buildings have burned to the ground and one of the fires is heading straight for the city's airport.

"It's been the worst day of my career," said one fire officer. "The people here are devastated, the community's going to be devastated. This is going to go on, this is going to take a while for us to come back from."

It's still unknown how the fires began, and with wind gusts up to 70km an hour predicted, this devastation could be just the beginning.