First look at Fort McMurray wildfire damage reveals thousands of homes razed

Authorities have revealed most of Fort McMurray remains intact despite a week of damage caused by wildfires devastating Canada’s oil sands region. Thousands of homes were burnt to the ground, but authorities say the damage is far less extensive than first feared. Officials have toured the town for the first time following the evacuation of 88,000 people. They discovered blocks of residential properties that have been reduced to blackened ruins – but an estimated 90 per cent of the town escaped the fires.

That of course doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some really heartbreaking images for some people to see when they come back.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said some 2,400 structures in Fort McMurray were burnt, but added that officials were encouraged by how much of the town escaped destruction. Ms Notley added that it is still not safe for residents to enter the city without an escort. She added: “But it is going to be made safe. It is a home you will return to. And we are going to work together to get this job done." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed a multi-year commitment by the national government to rebuild Fort McMurray.

We will support and invest in rebuilding Fort McMurray in a broad range of ways in the coming days, weeks, months and yes, years.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau