Fort McMurray, former city, now part of the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo, NE Alta., Canada. Originally a fur-trading post on the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers, Fort McMurray was a town of 1,200 when mining of Alberta's oil sands began in 1964. In 1995 the city of Fort McMurray was amalgamated with the vastly larger but sparsely populated surrounding rural area to create Wood Buffalo. It is an important river port and transshipment point for the Northwest Territories. In 2016 a massive wildfire forced the evacation of Fort McMurray and neighboring areas, and destroyed about one tenth of all buildings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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