In Alberta, a province in Western Canada, wildfires have been doing their worst. A state of emergency has been declared as more than 250 firefighters, with more on the way, work to contain the blaze. Thousands have been evacuated from Fort McMurray and a region already suffering from the low cost of crude oil, has taken another hit.
Oil production has virtually stopped while authorities have forced evacuations in the face of devastating wildfires. Production has fallen by more than a million barrels of oil per day since the threat of the fires started over a week ago. The government is working on a plan to return displaced workers and their families to their homes, but this process could take weeks. Low oil production is already affecting the economy and could affect the jobs of the oil workers.
Damages from the fires are expected to total in the billions. A stipend will be paid to each of the more than 90,000 evacuees. Along with hundreds of square miles of Canadian wildness, more than 2,400 homes and businesses have been lost to the Fort McMurray wildfire. The wildfire's path is visible from space and satellite images show the destruction. The property damage alone is estimated at 1 billion dollars.
With oil production virtually ceased at this time, the oil companies are estimated to be losing close to 30 million dollars per day in revenue. This figure is relatively low because of the current low price on crude oil. Oil is Alberta's primary industry and the oil companies hope to be fully functional within just weeks of the fire being fully controlled.