The Beast finally out: Fort McMurray wildfire deemed extinguished 15 months later

A wildfire that forced 80,000 people in northern Alberta to flee more than a year ago has finally been extinguished.

Wildfire information officer Lynn Daina says the Horse River fire that started on May 1, 2016 and destroyed more than 2,400 buildings in Fort McMurray and area was deemed officially out on Aug. 2.

She says they had to wait for winter to be over to see if any smoke or heat remained from the massive fire, dubbed ``The Beast'' because it was so fierce and unpredictable.

Daina says they also used advanced heat detectors from helicopters to ensure there were no remaining hot spots coming from the ground.

Wildfire crews will continue to monitor all areas.

The fire spread into Saskatchewan and burned nearly 6,000 square kilometres in total.