Thursday afternoon, fire broke out at the Horizon oilsands site near Fort McKay in northern Alberta. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which owns the site, confirmed that the fire was set off by an explosion around 5:30 PM Eastern Time Thursday.
The fire itself started in an upgrader across from the plant where bitumen is converted into crude oil. The 480-foot coker structure, which uses heat to convert bitumen into crude oil caught fire. Individuals at the site claimed that the explosion caused flames and smoke to shoot hundreds of feet into the air.