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Image courtesy of jasonwoodhead23/Flickr.

A mandatory evacuation order for oil sands camps in Fort McMurray was lifted on Monday, although wildfires in the region continue to burn.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo said on Monday that it has endorsed a phased re-entry to several camps.

Assessment work to return to the following areas can begin immediately:

  • Suncor Baseline and MacKay River Camps
  • Brion (all) Camps
  • Birch Mountain Camp
  • Sunshine Camp
  • Production facilities accessed by AOSTRA Road
  • AOC
  • Hangingstone
  • Great Sand Tiger
  • JACOS
  • Grayling Creek Fire Base

The phased re-entry for all oilsands camps in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is currently underway.

The mandatory evacuation for the Fort McMurray and Anzac areas remains in place.

Suncor said Monday that it has begun the re-mobilization process of its employees to support the staged restart of its operations.

Syncrude said last Monday that it had begun deploying employees on the ground at its Mildred Lake and Aurora oil sands sites to advance the safe return of operations.

Although the majority of the buildings in Fort McMurray survived the blaze, Horizon North Logistics confirmed last week that it received reports that the Blacksand Executive Lodge sustained “significant damage” from the fire.

According to the CBC, the wildfire remains out of control and is currently covering more than 1.28 million acres.

Fort McMurray residents who reside in the lower townsite and in areas south of the city may be allowed to return as soon as June 1 as part of a phased, voluntary re-entry program, CBC said.

The wildfire began on May 1 and forced more than 88,000 people to evacuate the area.

At the height of the blaze, about one million barrels of oil sands production was offline.