Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Royals visit blaze-ravaged town

William adjusts Kate's hood during a visit to Blachford Lake, near Yellowknife
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Slave Lake, Alberta, which was devastated by wildfires

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to visit a Canadian town devastated by wildfires that forced thousands of residents to flee.

William and Kate will fly to Slave Lake, Alberta, to take a mini-bus tour of parts of the town that were affected by the blazes in May.

The fire forced the complete evacuation of the settlement's 7,000 residents and is considered the largest displacement in the province's history.

The Duke and Duchess will also meet rescue workers who fought the fires.

Hundreds of firefighters converged on the town to tackle the blazes and officials knocked on hundreds of doors to ensure everyone had left.

When the fires were at their height, oil companies in Alberta, the country's largest energy producing province, were forced to shut off thousands of barrels of output.

Kevin MacLeod, the Canadian secretary to the Queen, said the visit was a gesture to say thank you to the emergency services for their efforts.

The royal couple will also meet families who were forced to leave their homes.

After the visit the couple will fly on to Calgary - the final leg of their Canada visit - and take a 24-hour break from the tour.

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