Pope Francis has sent his prayers and assurance of closeness to all those affected by the fire raging in the northern Canadian region of Alberta.
A letter sent by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Pope says “the Holy Father is saddened by the destruction and suffering caused by the fires raging in the Fort McMurray area.”
Some 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the area that has been devastated by a fire that has destroyed 1,600 buildings.
The letter to local bishops said “the Pope is praying for all the displaced people – especially children – who have lost their homes.”
An estimate of 20% of Fort McMurray homes have been burnt to the ground in the fire that started on May 1 and spread across 1,000 square kilometers.
But it could be months before the fire is fully brought under control. Officials warned only significant rainfall could fully halt its spread.[See full report at Vatican Radio]