It's the biggest wildfire to rage in Alberta's recent history, covering the same distance from Edmonton to Red Deer.
Geoffrey Driscoll, a wildfire information officer with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, said since the fire started on May 14th, winds have pushed it more than 100 kilometres to the north. That's influencing how crews are battling the fire.
“What we're trying to do is just stop the spread,” Driscoll said. “We're putting in fire guards and our firefighters will go in and reinforce that.”
Currently, more than 400 firefighters and numerous air tankers are working around the clock to maintain the fire's perimeter. However, persistent dry and windy conditions are hampering their efforts to bring the fire under control.
Driscoll said this fire is one of the largest Alberta has seen since 1930.
“It's definitely not going to be extinguished for another couple of months,” he said. “What's going to put out these fires is firefighters putting in long hours in dirty, hot conditions.”
The Richardson backcountry fire has prompted the evacuation of some oilfield facilities near Fort McMurray and produced enough smoke to prompt air quality advisories as far south as Edmonton.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison