May 6, 2016 / 7:43 PM / 3 years ago

Canada fire evacuee convoy halted due to smoke, flames: police

A wildfire burns near Highway 63 south of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

(Reuters) - Police have temporarily stopped allowing evacuees stranded north of the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, to drive south through the burning city because of heavy smoke and huge flames near the highway, a police spokesman said on Friday.

A convoy of some 1,500 vehicles started early on Friday, traveling in groups of about 50 with police escorts. Sergeant Jack Poitras said no drivers had needed to turn back partway through the drive.

Reporting by Liz Hampton; Writing by Allison Martell, editing by G Crosse

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