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Massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Canada forces evacuations, destroys buildings

A massive wildfire is threatening the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, forcing people out of their homes.

The fire initially started on Sunday, but has grown rapidly since and has now made its way into the city of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for several neighborhoods in different parts of Fort McMurray on Tuesday afternoon with voluntary evacuations in place for the rest of the city.

Several homes have also been destroyed as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Traffic was at a standstill on some roads exiting the city as thousands of people drove to safety.

Long lines also developed at gas stations as people stopped to fill up their vehicles before escaping to safety.

So far, the blaze has burned over 2,600 hectares (10 square miles) and continues to grow.

"The fire conditions are extreme," Darby Allen, regional fire chief for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, said during an 11 a.m. update Tuesday.

"The humidity levels are going to be decreased quicker because the ambient temperature is hotter, so that means the fire will be able to go more ferociously and quicker than in days previously," Allen added.

The smoke from the wildfire has also created poor air quality across the region. People with respiratory issues should stay alert and minimize their exposure to the smoky air.

Continue to check back with AccuWeather for updates on the fire.