Oil workers trying to fly out of Fort McMurray grounded

Oil industry workers evacuated from work camps and homes won't be getting out on flights from Fort McMurray, as the airport suspended all flights late Wednesday morning.

All commercial flights suspended Wednesday morning, after extra departures Tuesday

An airport camera shows smoke from fire in Fort McMurray on Tuesday, May 3. (Fort McMurray International Airport)

Oil workers evacuated from work camps and homes in northern Alberta learned late Wednesday morning that they won't be getting out on flights from Fort McMurray.

"As of 11:30 am (3 p.m. NT) all commercial flights in and out of Fort McMurray International Airport are suspended," said the city's international airport in an advisory on its website.

Westjet had added flights out of the airport Tuesday, but arrivals were cancelled as wildfires burned around the city, and into subdivisions, destroying some homes and businesses.

Suncor, one of the largest oil industry companies in the area, posted an Oil Sands Base Plant shifts and logistics update for Wednesday.

"We continue to focus on the safety of our people and the community as the region responds to the forest fires. Our Base Plant continues to be in a safe condition," the company posted on Facebook.

"With safety above all else, we are coordinating the shift requirements for our Base Plant operations for immediate needs only for Wednesday, May 4." 

Syncrude, another major oil industry player in the area, also posted an update about the wildfire evacuations on its website.

"The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo announced evacuation orders on Sunday evening and more information is available at

"For those employees affected by the evacuation, please follow the standard procedure for calling in when you cannot make it in to work. Contractors should follow the protocols established by their individual companies."