Edmonton

Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees give birth to 2 babies in work camp

'Positivity and human nature are amazing in times like this,' says Noralta spokeswoman

Evacuation centre

Smoke can be seen behind a centre for Fort McMurray, Alta., evacuees. But the births of at least two babies at a work camp are providing at least some joy amid the devastation. (Supplied)

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There are at least two rays of sunshine amid the smoky devastation of the Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfire.

Two babies have been born safely to women in a work camp north of Fort McMurray, where tens of thousands have been forced from their homes as firefighters battle the wildfire that has put the community under an evacuation order.

"We've had two babies born on our site so far," said Blaire McCalla, communications manager with Noralta, a company that provides housing for oilfield workers.

"Can't say that ever happened before." 

As about 18,000 people were heading south to Edmonton, many in Fort McMurray, with a population of about 88,000, went north to Noralta.

According to McCalla, the babies and their mothers are doing well. She said the births brought some much-needed hope to the situation.

"Positivity and human nature are amazing in times like this." 

Still, said McCalla, there's stress "in the air," with many staying at the camp not knowing whether their homes have survived the wildfire. 

Noralta has opened its doors to three of its camps near the area: the Fort McMurray Lodge, Grey Wolf and Firebag. 

The only one not full as of early Wednesday morning was Fire Bag. 

"Everyone is working tirelessly and round the clock to try and accommodate everyone we can, and just doing all we can to try to help people out," said McCalla. 

"Right now we're just getting people fed and in rooms where we can."

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